According to a January 2017 study on “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids” conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), substantial or conclusive evidence exists that cannabinoids or cannabis can be an effective treatment for those suffering from chronic pain.
The study did determine that some qualifiers do exist however, such as the type of pain and the subjectivity of pain in each individual receiving treatment. Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) and those receiving chemotherapy reported the highest rate of effectiveness in the treatment of their condition. Cannabis or cannabinoids were reported to help with nausea, muscle spasms and vomiting associated by chemotherapy and MS.
How Do Cannabinoids Help with Pain Relief?
Our bodies are naturally made up of specific receptors for cannabinoids, which makes the possibility of medical marijuana offering pain management a reality. Our bodies are made to bind chemical compounds favorable for pain relief like cannabidiol (CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Our bodies also are capable of producing endogenous cannabinoids which, when produced can affect a number of physiological responses such as pain response and blood pressure. These endocannabinoids are modulated by inhaling or ingesting medical marijuana.
How to Obtain Medical Marijuana for Pain Relief
If you live in a medical marijuana friendly state like Colorado, Vermont, California or New York, you can join a group of patients in a collective. Collectives are made up of people in a legal entity who grow cannabis and share it with each other. Through joining, you can grow and share your own medicine, legally.
You can also obtain a medical cannabis card recommendation letter from a doctor of osteopathic medicine or physician if you are over 18. With the card, you are at liberty to join any collective of your choosing.
How to Use Medical Marijuana for Pain Relief
Medical marijuana can be administered in several different ways. Below are the methods you can choose from in attempt to experience pain relief.
- Smoking – You can smoke from a pipe, bong or joint. You can hand roll or machine roll your joint. Some do believe that smoking is inefficient for pain relief because the medication goes with the smoke as it burns. Because of this, a water pipe is more advisable.
- Inhalation – Inhalation offers an instantaneous effect because the medication is taken quickly into the lungs and absorbs quickly in the system. The effects can last about 4 hours. The patient is able to titrate the dosage if choosing this method of medical marijuana treatment.
- Sublingual or oramucosal delivery – This is possible by way of tinctures and oils which deliver quickly into the bloodstream with a rapid effect. This is a great method for patients who don’t wish to smoke. Oils are placed under the tongue or somewhere in the mouth. Pills and edible cannabis products are also available.
- Vaporization – Similar to a nebulizer treatment, cannabis is heated to a temperature that is released by vapors that are then inhaled.
- Topical application – Applied as a lotion, ointment or poultice, this method can help to treat muscle pain associated with arthritic and skin inflammations.