Recent trend of legalizing cannabis use across the United States, and all around the world, has been a result of numerous scientific studies that focused on this plant’s effects on our body and mind.
What made cannabis illegal in the first place is its active compound tetrahydrocannabinol, which we all refer to as THC.
Cannabis contains more than 85 different compounds, which make a group named cannabinoids. Our body also naturally produces some varieties of cannabinoids which have significant impact on our metabolism, feelings, sleep, and movement. Our nervous system, as well as our digestive tract, are riddled with endocannabinoid receptors responsible for affecting basically every aspect of our daily life.
When it comes to treating pain with cannabis, the active compound responsible for this aspect is a group called terpenes. Terpenes have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects on our entire system, and they are easily absorbed and metabolized by our organism.
As mentioned before, THC is the active compound responsible for the former illegal status of cannabis, due to the psychoactive effects it has on us. Cannabidiol, or CBD, on the other hand, is derived from low-THC or THC-free cannabis, and it is used in therapeutic purposes.
One of the most common uses of medicinal cannabis is for pain treatment and management. CBD is able to influence the function of cannabinoid receptors in the peripheral nerves and prevent the pain signals from being sent to our brain. This occurs basically the moment CBD reaches our blood stream.
Apart from messing with the pain signals that should be delivered to our brain, cannabis and CBD also act as anti-inflammatory agents, treating the pain source directly. They can also boost our immune system’s ability to defend against further inflammation.
University of Michigan has recently published a study that shows how medicinal cannabis reduces the need for prescription painkillers and opioids. The study reported that 64 percent of its subjects reported reduced pain with cannabis use, and none of the patients noticed any side effects of this pain killer replacement. Researchers also noted that the risks of accidental opioid overdose are eliminated with cannabis use.
Opioid addiction is taking the world by storm, which makes medicinal cannabis legalization a logical next move for governments worldwide. The epidemic of opioid addiction and opioid caused deaths in the US is on a rapid decline ever since the legalization wave began.
Cannabis is even deemed safer to use than ibuprofen by a study published by the University de Montreal. The study involved 215 subjects with chronic pain, and only one of the subjects failed to notice a decrease in pain with cannabis use. This long-term study claims that medical cannabis use over one year leads to improvements in pain, function, and quality of life in 98 percent of cases.
If you suffer from conditions such as chronic pain or fibromyalgia, medicinal cannabis use is one of the most commonly recommended treatments, in case your state or country allows its use. For those who don’t feel like smoking or vaping cannabis isn’t the healthiest choice, there are other options. One of those is the new cannabis patch, topically applied to the spot which the pain is originating from. Cannabis Science, a California based company, produces these patches and advertises them as fibromyalgia and neuropathy pain relievers.