Recent studies show that marijuana may be effective in treating chronic pain. This type of pain causes physical discomfort and can have a significant psychological effect on patients. The drugs available today have many limitations. Can medical marijuana treat chronic pain?
We often believe that pain is a relatively simple symptom. After all, it’s the sign that signal something is not right in our body. In most cases, the pain is easy to treat with Opioids available for us. But what happens when the pain becomes chronic?
Chronic pain is a very complex condition that affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide. In the USA alone, it Is the most common long-term disability affecting more than 100 million Americans.
Unfortunately, our methods for treating chronic pain as well as other aspects of medicine have not progressed . The two preferred treatments for pain include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, or opium derivatives, such as morphine. Both have a long list of limitations.
Thanks to new research, this is changing. New research shows that medical marijuana treat chronic pain. But still many people around the world doubts the effect of using marijuana as medicine.
Let’s found out more what is chronic pain and how medical marijuana treat chronic pain.
UNDERSTANDING CHRONIC PAIN
While pain seems to be a very common condition, diagnosing and treating it properly can be a challenge for health professionals.
Pain is often categorized as acute (short term) or chronic (long term).
Acute pain is often prickly and immediate and can be temporary or last for months. Typically, acute pain disappears shortly after treating the underlying cause of pain, and should not last longer than 6 months.
On the other hand, chronic pain can last for years. It tends to continue even after treatment, and the primary cause of chronic pain is usually difficult to diagnose. While chronic pain may be the result of a condition that has not been treated for a long time, it can also manifest without any damage to the body.
In most cases, it is easy to find the cause of acute pain and proper treatment. However, controlling chronic pain can be much more difficult. This is because the underlying causes for which patients feel pain are much more difficult to identify and, therefore, more difficult to treat correctly.
HOW DO WE FEEL THE PAIN?
Pain signals are received by the nerves around the body and reach the brain through the central nervous system. Although we experience pain in different ways, there are two categories:
– Nociceptive: nociceptive pain is usually caused by injuries to the skin, muscles, visceral organs, joints, tendons, or bones. Nociceptive pain can be classified into Somatic and Visceral Nociceptive Pain. The first is usually described as musculoskeletal pain (such as the pain felt when a skin is scratched), which affects the visceral organs and is usually caused by stretching or inflammation rather than by bruising or cuts .
– Neuropathic: neuropathic pain affects the sensory system and is characterized by the sensory anomalies. Neuropathic pain is not acute, like most nociceptive pains. May include feeling of hypersensitivity, numbness or tingling.
It is important to keep in mind that these two categories can overlap. There are many conditions and injuries that can affect both the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and, therefore, can produce nociceptive and neuropathic pain at the same time.
WHAT CAUSES CHRONIC PAIN?
There are innumerable conditions that can cause chronic pain. However, some of the most common are as follows:
– Multiple sclerosis
– Neurological damage
PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF PAIN
When we think of pain, we think of the physical discomfort we feel in the body. However, it is important to note that chronic pain can also have a serious psychological impact.
Chronic pain puts the body under constant stress. In addition to the discomfort, chronic pain can alter sleep cycles, mood, motivation and more. Living with chronic pain is difficult, and sometimes the treatment can cause the patient to experience even more stress. In some cases, these factors can cause mental health disorders, such as anxiety or even depression.
TREATMENT AND TRADITIONAL MEDICINES FOR PAIN
At present, the most common form of treating pain is with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, or with prescription opiates, such as codeine and morphine. Anti-inflammatories reduce the production of chemicals that cause inflammation in the body, and opiates suppress pain signals produced by the peripheral nerves of the body.
Opioids are widely used pharmaceutical drugs for treating both acute and chronic pain. In fact, Medical care providers issued around 250 million opioid drug prescriptions in 2012; enough to supply a bottle of pills to every American citizen.
Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, and opioid-based drugs, such as morphine, have limitations. Anti-inflammatories are good for treating acute pain, such as headache, but do not provide relief in case of chronic conditions. In contrast, opioid-based drugs provide faster and more potent effects, but have a wide variety of side effects that make them unsuitable for long-term treatment in patients with chronic pain.
The most important concerns about the long-term use of opioid analgesics are tolerance, abuse, and addiction. The number of opioid drug prescriptions in the US has skyrocketed in recent years: it increased from 75 million in 1991 to almost 250 million in 2015 and there is no stopping at all.
The number of deaths from overdose of prescription opioid has tripled in the last 20 years .
CAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA TREAT CHRONIC PAIN?
Claim that support medical marijuana treat chronic pain is strong. The plant contains a wide variety of compounds that have analgesic properties and also function as anti-inflammatories.
When medical marijuana is consumed (smoked, vaporized, or ingested), plant compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system, composed of a variety of receptors located in the brain and throughout the body, plays an important role in controlling a wide variety of physiological processes, such as memory, appetite and pain management.
Cannabis contains more than 100 active compounds (known as cannabinoids) as well as terpenes, which have various health benefits. The two most known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
In 1997, an article in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed that the endocannabinoid system has an active role in pain relief. At present, new research shows that cannabinoids like THC and CBD can treat pain effectively.
Fortunately, research on the effectiveness of marijuana as an analgesic did not end there. In a 2010 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal investigated the effect of smoking marijuana on pain. The study required that adult patients with postoperative neuropathic pain smoke marijuana with various concentrations of THC three times a day using a pipe for 5 days. Marijuana was found to reduce pain in more than 270 patients suffering from chronic pain.
The study concluded that a single inhalation of marijuana with approximately 10% THC three times a day reduced pain intensity and also improved sleep. Investigators also investigated the effect of marijuana on sleep and mood.
The study used a survey to measure the severity of patient pain, change in opioid use, and other indicators. The study found that medical marijuana use in these patients significantly reduced the severity of pain and the level at which it interfered with their lives, helping them to be more functional as well. Medical marijuana use also reduced the use of opioid drugs by over 40%.
“Medical marijuana treat chronic pain” is a type is question people keep on asking and telling to each other. but no one knows the right answers until they start consuming marijuana to treat chronic pain. Most common medicine in marijuana to treat chronic pain is CBD HEMP OIL
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE MARIJUANA MAY BECOME THE PAINKILLER OF THE FUTURE?
In some places, marijuana is already slowly becoming the painkiller of the future. Not only in the United States, Medical marijuana is also legal in Canada, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Croatia and many other countries.
Unfortunately, we still do not fully understand the effects of cannabis or the role it can play in modern medicine. Most of the research available only begins to delve into a depth that will keep researchers busy for many more years.
Marijuana, when consumed in a responsible and correct manner, can be a potent drug with incredible benefits. It is only a matter of time before we can fully discover the mysteries of this incredible plant.
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