How Medical Cannabis Can Help Chronic Pain
Marijuana for Chronic Pain
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. But what exactly is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is defined as “pain that is either severe and chronic or intractable.” Unlike other medical conditions that are more distinctly defined such as glaucoma, epilepsy, or cancer, pain can be a primary symptom associated with a variety of conditions.
Everyone experiences pain, however, qualifying for a medical marijuana recommendation is not as simple as experiencing a mild headache and receiving a card the next day.
There are two general categories for pain: acute or chronic. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks often without a definable endpoint. Chronic pain can be further classified as chronic primary pain which can be experienced with chronic postsurgical pain, chronic cancer pain, chronic headaches or migraines, or chronic visceral pain (such as IBD).
Before meeting with a medical marijuana doctor, patients are required to submit a copy of their medical records showing documentation that their pain has been an ongoing issue.
Medical Marijuana Treatment for Chronic Pain
According to a study published in the journal of Health Affairs, over 62% of patients who use medical marijuana use it to treat chronic pain. Cannabis is a promising alternative to prescription medications for treating chronic pain. Research shows that THC serves as an effective pain reliever for cancer patients, and it lacks the toxic side effects found in many traditional medications. Medical marijuana can also be helpful in alleviating chronic pain associated with the following conditions:
Accident and injury-related pain