5 Benefits of Medical Cannabis Services for Chronic Pain Management

Updated on May 14, 2023

Medical marijuana is a natural substance that can help with pain relief. It can be taken in various ways and is a safer alternative to opioids.

Most adults who use cannabis reported decreasing their prescription nonopioid and over-the-counter pain medications, while less than 1% said they increased their use.

Better Symptom Control

Cannabis is effective for many conditions, including chronic pain. It frequently serves as an alternative to other drugs, especially opioids. There are several methods to ingest it, including smoking marijuana flowers, using vape pens, applying THC lotions or pills, drinking tea elixirs, and more.

According to a new study, patients who use medicinal marijuana to manage their pain sleep better and have fewer anxiety or depressive symptoms. Additionally, many stated they were using fewer nonopioid and prescription opioid painkillers. However, further study is required to validate these results. It is important to note that pain relief from cannabis should never be the sole treatment for a chronic condition. Patients should continue to work with their physical therapists, psychologists and other medical professionals at healthcare facilities like Spartan Wellness for the best results.

Reduced Opioid Use

Opioids are potent painkillers that work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. Unfortunately, they can cause addiction and are the subject of a public health crisis that is killing hundreds of people every day worldwide.

Cannabis, on the other hand, relieves pain without the addictive potential of prescription opioids and is much safer than sleep-promoting drugs such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Several studies have shown that patients using medical marijuana often decrease their use of these prescription pain and insomnia medications.

Better Sleep

A good night’s sleep is critical to a person’s overall health, but it can be difficult for many adults to get the rest they need. This is especially true for those who frequently have trouble falling and staying asleep at night due to veterans’ medical issues like PTSD and chronic pain.

Cannabis can help with sleep issues by promoting relaxation, inducing sedation and decreasing anxiety. The terpenes, or chemical compounds that give plants their smell and secondary effects, found in cannabis also play an important role in helping patients relax.

In a recent retrospective chart review of patients seeking cannabis for insomnia, 71% reported subjective improvement in their sleep and related symptoms. These improvements led to many patients being able to discontinue prescription medications for sleep disorders.

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation plays a significant role in chronic pain conditions. Medical cannabis can help reduce the inflammation that may cause pain and improve your quality of life.

Opioids are powerful pain analgesics that can be effective in certain conditions but have serious risks of misuse and overdose. Because of this, people with chronic pain are searching for alternative treatment options that can provide relief without the risks.

Studies show that cannabis can be an opioid-sparing treatment. In one study, adults who were reliant on opioids for chronic low back pain reported being able to reduce or stop their opioid use after adding medical marijuana to their treatment regimen. This was due to cannabis being an effective analgesic and easing nausea and vomiting often associated with high doses of opioids.

Reduced Risk of Addiction

Cannabis is considered a safer pain treatment than opioids, with a high risk of misuse and addiction. This is partly because it does not affect the same opioid receptors and therefore does not have the same addictive properties.

In addition, it is an antiemetic, meaning that it can reduce the nausea and vomiting that often accompanies powerful opioid analgesics. It also enhances the effectiveness of other painkillers and relieves several side effects, such as dizziness.

In a study of eight thousand adult New Yorkers, more than half of people who used medical marijuana reported that it led them to decrease their use of prescription opioids, prescription nonopioid analgesics and over-the-counter pain medications. However, less than 1% of these people reported increasing their use of these medications.

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