Did you know that one of the primary reasons that people use cannabis is because it helps to manage their chronic pain? According to the Center for Disease Control website, an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Not only that, but in a 2020 study, it was found that 62% of medical cannabis users use it to help manage their chronic pain. This number is only continuing to grow as widespread legalization continues to occur.
Even with that data, you might be wondering how cannabis actually helps? Here at our cannabis dispensary in Port Hueneme, we want to help break it down and provide a little insight. If you have chronic pain, or have been considering cannabis for its medical uses, you will want to keep reading. First, however, we want to break down and define what chronic pain is as well as highlight some of the common conditions that people with chronic pain experience.
What is chronic pain?
As the name suggests, chronic pain is pain that lasts past the normal timeframe for an injury or illness. Rather than a few days or weeks, this pain can persist for months, years, or even on and off throughout one’s lifetime. Chronic pain can be constant or intermittent while also ranging anywhere from mild to severe, all varying from person to person and depending on their condition.
That being said, it’s easy to see why chronic pain is considered debilitating and why many seek alternative forms of treatment and pain management. This is especially true in the face of the ongoing opioid crisis, leaving many wanting to avoid these types of narcotic prescription medications.
There are generally four types of chronic pain, falling into one of the following categories:
The prefix ‘neuro’ alludes to the nervous system, and neuropathic pain is pain caused by injury or damage to the nerves. Some people describe this pain as ‘burning’ or feeling like pins and needles. Those who suffer from these types of conditions also mention feeling hypersensitive in areas where the nerve damage is especially prominent.
For those who suffer from somatic pain, they feel pain in the musculoskeletal system. These injuries are typically felt in the outer parts of the body, including skin, tendons, muscles, joints, bones, and ligaments. One of the most common conditions that people have is arthritis or joint pain.
If you are feeling visceral pain, you are feeling pain in relation to your organs. This could be inside of your chest cavity or abdominal cavity. Some individuals describe it as an ‘achy’ sensation. Sometimes, visceral pain can be hard to pinpoint due the fact that it originates deep from within the body. It can often spread to the nerves as well.
Often dubbed as ‘mystery pain’, this is pain that occurs without a physical injury. One of the most common illnesses associated with central pain is fibromyalgia.
Can medical cannabis help?
As cannabis pushes for more widespread legalization in the past ten years, more research is being conducted regarding the medical impact of marijuana. Currently, the research shows that cannabis can be effective in alleviating chronic pain.
So, how does it work? Well, that’s all thanks to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in our bodies. The ECS actually plays a significant role in moderating pain response. Cannabinoids are natural compounds that are found both within our bodies and in the cannabis plan. When you ingest, smoke, or otherwise consume cannabis, these cannabinoids interact. The two most common types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Studies have shown that THC actually has a significant effect on pain, especially because it can activate the CB1 receptors found in the ECS. There, it directly reduces the sensation of pain. CBD has been shown to have similar effects on pain, though in a more muted or reduced way. For more milder symptoms, CBD can be used. However, more research is still being conducted.
Since CBD is legal in more states than THC, this is still a great choice. Also, some might opt to choose it because it tends to not have psychoactive effects.
Types of Conditions
When it comes to chronic pain, there is a huge range of conditions that someone can be diagnosed with. The following is a list of conditions or disorders that are commonly treated with medical cannabis:
- Appetite loss (especially in cancer patients)
- Eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia)
- Epilepsy or seizures
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Muscle spasms
While this is not a comprehensive list, it does cover some of the most common medical conditions we see among those who use medical cannabis.
Getting Started with Medical Cannabis
Before you begin using cannabis to treat a medical condition, be sure to have a conversation with your doctor. If they feel that medical cannabis will be a good fit for you and could help your condition, make sure to ask for a medical card, even if recreational cannabis is legal in your state.
Finding out which cannabis will work best for you might take a bit of trial and error. Each and every body and type of chronic pain is different. Not to mention tolerances may vary, even in new cannabis users. Plus, there are tons of options to choose from, including various strains, terpenes, and types of products. If it seems overwhelming, that’s when it’s best to come into a From The Earth location and speak to an experienced staff member.
Cannabis Dispensary Port Hueneme
Here at our cannabis dispensary in Port Hueneme, as well as our many other locations, our staff is prepared to assist you. We want to help answer any questions you may have and assist you with finding the best product for you. We understand that not everyone is built the same or has the same preferences. That is why we have hundreds of amazing products, including raw cannabis flower, gummies, tinctures, edibles, and more!