Since the onset of medicinally legalized marijuana use, many are finding that using marijuana for pain relief is not only helpful but may be more effective than traditional treatments for chronic pain and inflammation.
While there is much to be desired in the way of scientific studies (which is rooted in the fact that cannabis hasn’t been legalized on the federal level), the evidence is growing in support of marijuana as a legitimate and effective alternative for pain relief.
Some even suggest that marijuana could become an alternative to opioids.
That is awesome news for all of us looking to relieve pain, and today we are going to tell you everything you need to know about using marijuana for pain relief.
Marijuana for Pain Relief: Why is it Effective?
Your brain’s endocannabinoid system is responsible for several key functions like regulating appetite and metabolism, learning and memory, muscle formation, stress regulation, and (you guessed it!) chronic pain and inflammation.
Your body’s ECS is always producing endocannabinoids, even without the use of cannabis. Pretty cool, right?
As of now, we know there are two main endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mostly associated with the body’s central nervous system, while CB2 is mostly found in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells.
Cannabis itself contains a ton of chemical compounds, but the key components are cannabinoids, which are the main contributors to the medicinal and recreational effects of marijuana. THC is the most widely understood, which binds to both your CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is the chemical compound that gets you high. Happy flying!
The other important compound is CBD, which is less understood than THC. CBD doesn’t interact with our CB1 and CB2 receptors in the same way that THC does, and may have more effect on your CB2 receptors (which is one of the causes of decreased inflammation associated with CBD use) or may even bond to an undiscovered CB receptor.
Some believe CBD prevents your body’s endocannabinoids from being broken down, leaving them more available for absorption into the body. What we do know is that it plays a key role in reducing chronic inflammation.
Regardless of brain chemistry, marijuana has a profound effect on your pain, stress, and inflammation. The effects of marijuana for pain management have even been suggested as an alternative to opioid use.
Research on Marijuana for Pain Relief
Cannabis studies are lacking because marijuana is still federally classified as a “Schedule 1” substance (defined by having no medical use with a high potential for abuse). Because it is federally illegal, researchers need a special license to study the substance.
Yet some studies have been effective in showing the positive results of marijuana for pain, especially in patients with cancer-related symptoms. THC and CBD have shown to be effective in pain management and stress relief.
Studies have used Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains in their tests. The results generally show that the Indica strain and high CBD products are great for pain, while Sativa’s tend to be better for mood. Hybrids may offer the best of both worlds.
Cannabis is most effective for nerve pain, cancer-related pain, chronic pain and inflammation, MS, and muscle spasms.
What Products are Best for Pain?
We usually suggest Cannabis strains that are Indica dominant or high CBD products when we recommend marijuana for pain relief.
When it comes to Indica, you can choose between flower, or buds, vaporizer cartridges, concentrated resins and live rosins, or edibles. We usually ask what your preferred method of ingestion is and go from there.
CBD is also one of the best options for pain, especially when combined with micro-doses of THC, which will help bonding to your CB receptors. These products also have a wide range of offerings, from pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures, or topical creams that are effective in pain reduction.
Shop our huge selection of products and feel free to come into any of our locations or call for more information on how you can use cannabis to relieve pain.
Thanks for reading!