Breaking Down Marijuana and Chronic Pain
Back pain can be one of the most debilitating conditions an individual can encounter; there are very few daily activities that do not involve some kind of movement or even bracing of your back.
Living with Chronic Back Pain can leave you feeling frustrated, incapable and, at times, downright depressed.
The situation can look particularly bleak if you are unable to find any relief for your pain from more traditional medicines and techniques.
Fortunately, there may be another solution your doctor might have missed out on telling you about. Cannabis and back pain relief are being strongly linked and the findings look promising.
This article will give you all of the relevant information you might need to know about cannabis and back pain to help you make an informed choice about trying it for yourself.
Helpful Back Pain Facts and Information
Before moving on to discussing the connection between marijuana and pain relief, we want to make you aware of some interesting facts and pieces of information surrounding Chronic Pain. It is also thought Americans spend upwards of $50 billion every year on treating back pain! Obviously, back pain is a huge issue that people are willing and, in some cases forced, to try multiple methods to find a cure for.
Back pain is usually described as acute or chronic.
Acute back pain is generally the type of pain that comes on suddenly as a result of an injury. Acute back pain is often treated quite quickly.
Chronic back pain is pain that lasts for a longer period of time: normally at least 3 months. This is the kind of back pain where finding relief is key and where the use of cannabis for back pain may provide an answer says medical marijuana doctors in Florida.
How Can Cannabis Help with Back Pain?
Marijuana is no stranger to being used for pain relief.
In countries where medical use is allowed, marijuana is often prescribed to treat pain where other treatments have not been successful. In the U.S. and Canada, chronic pain has been cited by patients as the most common reason for their use of medical marijuana.
There are a number of studies that link cannabis and pain relief and we will share a few examples later, but first, on to how cannabis works to relieve pain.
The analgesic, or pain-relief, effects that marijuana is known to have comes from the cannabinoids within the drug. These are also thought to have some anti-inflammatory effects, which is a likely reason why cannabis and back pain treatments are observed to be effective says one orlando marijuana doctor.
The cannabinoids themselves are a group of closely related compounds, all of which bind to and influence the cannabinoid receptors in your brain. Common examples of cannabinoids that you may have heard of are CBD and THC, which are different compound types and have differing effects.
When attached to the receptors in the brain, cannabinoids have been observed to suppress pain signals as they are sent to the brain. Their anti-inflammatory properties are also likely to be a reason for their positive effects on chronic pain symptoms says a lake mary marijuana doctor.
The Evidence for Cannabis and Back Pain Relief
Anecdotal instances of marijuana helping to relieve back pain are widespread, which is excellent news and it cannot be discounted. However, it is always key to have controlled studies and scientific evidence to back up health claims.
As we alluded to earlier, there have been a number of studies that seem to back up the claims for cannabis and back pain treatments. Below, is a list of a few studies that may support the claims of using cannabis for back pain.
This 2004 study took 34 individuals that suffered from chronic pain, which was resistant to treatment. The participants were given different strains of cannabis and observed over a 12-week period.
The results showed some significant reduction in pain symptoms and found that extracts containing THC were most effective for pain relief.
Pain was also significantly decreased in this study from 2011 that looked at the cannabinoid-opioid interaction in chronic pain. The study concluded that vaporized cannabis did, in fact, elicit an analgesic, pain-relieving effect says a jacksonville marijuana doctor.
Best Type of Cannabis for Back Pain Relief
Like we touched upon earlier on, there is more than one different strain of cannabis and there are many types of cannabinoids. Each different type will have a different kind of effect on your brain and body. As a general disclaimer, everybody is likely to have slightly different results with each different marijuana strain so there may be a little bit of experimentation required on the part of the patient. The 2 most observed compounds are THC and CBD. Both of the compounds are very similar in structure, but they have differing effects on your body. The main difference is the psychoactive effects they each have on the brain. CBD usually comes in the form of an extract that is ingested orally and has no psychoactive effect on the brain. THC, on the other hand, is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for causing the “high” feeling you get from marijuana. Both THC and CBD have been observed to have pain-relieving, analgesic properties.