Humans are no strangers to pain. If you are an athlete or fitness enthusiast, the chances of suffering pain, whether from the exhaustion that follows intense training or through injuries picked during a sports event, are quite high. Old age also comes with various conditions such as arthritis, back pain, and different other conditions whose symptoms may include pain.
The medical world relies on aggressive[ NSAIDs and opiate pain relievers to manage chronic pain and sports injury. However, while these options work effectively to sooth pain, they come with a myriad of drawbacks. This is why fitness trainers, nutritionists, and chiropractors are on the look for new efficient solutions.
One compound that comes up consistently in discussions is cannabis (marijuana). Cannabis medical use spans several centuries. But how effective is this naturally occurring compound when it comes to treating chronic pain and sports injury?
Can cannabis treat chronic pain?
Even as many nations continue to implement new policies regarding the use of medical and non-medical cannabis, one fact remains apparent. Cannabis is part of the pain relief and medical regimen in many traditions. According to a Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine research, using cannabis for chronic pain management shows excellent promise. Most prescriptions for medical marijuana also relate to pain management.
The main compound research links with pain relief are cannabinoids. This compound occurs naturally, in various species of cannabis, alongside other popular phytochemicals such as THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. Most clinicians focus on the analgesic benefits of cannabinoids. However, it is presumptuous to imagine that all the pain relief benefits of cannabis come from CBD alone. CBD has no psychoactive effects, so it will not get you “high” like THC.
The popularity of cannabinoids propels from the new understanding of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). According to studies, ECD is a neurotransmitter network that connects to peripheral pathways that regulate mood, sleep, and pain. Our bodies have both CBD 1 and CBD 2 receptors and produce its cannabinoids. In the body, cannabinoids attach to CBD 1 and CBD 2 receptors inducing a myriad of medical benefits.
Preliminary Clinical trials Meta-analysis provides modest evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids pharmacotherapy in pain relief. This is why there are numerous CBD products available in the pain relief market. Cannabinoids are legal in most states across the globe. There is also a growing body of reviews that backs its effectiveness in relieving chronic pain, mainly neuropathic.
Cannabis benefits for pain relief
The US federal government insists that only cannabis products with less than 0.3% THC are legal. However, in some states, both medical and recreational cannabis (marijuana) is allowed. Primarily, CBD is found from specific variants of the plant, mainly Sativa and hemp. The key to unlocking full cannabis potential in pain management lies in our ability to understand each pain patient and their requirements. Below is a brief look at some of them:
1. Cannabis for chronic pain management
In a 2008 review, researchers went over studies conducted between 1987 and 2007 on the efficacy of CBD in relieving chronic pain. They concluded that CBD was effective in overall chronic pain relief. The review also supports using cannabis to treat insomnia resulting from chronic pain and is also helpful to patients of MS (multiple sclerosis).
2. Cannabis for arthritic pain relief
Cannabis shows excellent promise for relieving arthritic pain. According to studies, CBD was able to reduce pain and inflammation in lab rats without causing any adverse effects. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have also proven crucial as an alternative complementary treatment in cancer patients and auto-immune diseases.
3. Cannabis for cancer pain relief
Like many steroids from teragon labs, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to relieve pain and chemotherapy symptoms in cancer patients. Lab rat studies also indicate CBD’s potential to treat cancerous tumors. The National Cancer Institute also pointed to CBD as a pain relief for chemo subjects.
4. Cannabis for general pain
Medical cannabis targets various forms of pain ranging from those resulting from degenerative diseases such as cancer to old-age symptoms and sports injury. Unlike opiates, cannabis provides pain relief without the adverse side effects. Pure forms of CBD oils are very safe and legal. You can use them to sooth general pain, especially those that result from swelling, accidents, and auto-immune responses.
The efficacy of cannabis in treating chronic pain and sports injury pending conclusive research is already remarkable. Most patients experience pain relief to some extent. However, its success relies on various factors that you should consider when prescribing cannabis and CBD products. These include patient-specific characteristics such as age, gender to pain severity, dosage, frequency, and application vehicles, among others. It is also crucial to use cannabis and CBD for complementary treatment while using more advanced medical options to target the root cause of your pain. More importantly, use high-quality cannabis products and follow your doctor’s prescription.