There are a lot of myths going around medical marijuana. It’s been like this since before it became legal - in fact, a “regular” person probably wouldn’t think about asking their doctor for prescribing marijuana for chronic pain at the risk of sounding like they just want to get their hands on some cannabis legally (and with lower taxes!). Sadly, a lot of people find it embarrassing to ask if cannabis can help them with managing their chronic pain.
When it comes to prescribing cannabis for pain management, it often gets “forgotten” and many patients end up with a vial of a designer drug that their insurance fully covers, and as illustrated by the recent scandal with opioid medication, sometimes pharmaceutical companies have more than their fair swing at the market.
Your access to medical cannabis will vary depending on your location – in come European countries it is freely available, while in others you have to go to special pharmacies, often far from where you live. But products like CBD oli, edibles and other products are freely available in places like Canada or in the United States (through sites like 420DC) – some will even deliver to you. The only thing that a prescription changes is the tax charged.
What Type of Cannabis is Best for Pain?
Managing chronic pain isn’t just about picking up a joint and smoking it – let’s get rid of that stereotype right now. Cannabis has many chemical properties – each of them reacts a bit differently with your nervous system and not all of them will get you high.
In fact, only THC has the psychotropic effect that most people associate with marijuana. Other chemicals or cannabinoids found in cannabis include CBD, CBN, CBDa, CBG and many others. They all have different properties, and studies are still done on all of them – it has to be said that the medical community is a bit behind, because of the legal status of this powerful plant.
Although cannabis is usually ineffective against post-surgery pain and other types of acute pain, it has been proven to be extremely effective against chronic pain that comes with age and diseases like cancer, arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis or chronic back pain.
Certain strains of cannabis have been proven to work better for specific types of pain or illnesses. This is because cannabis plants have different strains that vary in chemical properties quite a bit. They all have different THC, CBD and NNN levels – this can be controlled and manipulated through cross-breeding, and creating strains for specific purposes. These new strains are being developed all the time, and it’s best to check what’s available on the market before you decide to purchase medicinal cannabis.
Mostly Indica, this strain is deeply relaxing, helps with sleep and has a numbing effect on the whole body. It relieves both stress and pain, helps with illness-related anxiety and depression as well as sleep. This is all especially important in people who have to live with Multiple Sclerosis, as they experience chronic pain, sleep trouble and tremors.
Does it Work?
Anecdotal speaking cannabis helps with chronic pain – there’s no confusion about it. While it might not help with immediate pain caused by injury, surgery or other unfortunate but temporary circumstances, it does help with things like: