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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 pharmaceutical drug 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.

The evidence in studies that are available suggests that marijuana has become a safe and effective alternative to dangerous pharmaceutical drug treatments.

That is awesome news for all of us looking to relieve pain using cannabis products.

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 chronic pain and inflammation.

Your body’s ECS is always producing endocannabinoids, even without the use of cannabis. 

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 many natural chemical compounds, but the key components that create the effects from use 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.  

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 in availability only 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 an illegal substance, 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, which may lean to be indica or sativa dominant, may offer the best of both worlds.

Cannabis use seems to be most effective for nerve pain, cancer-related pain, chronic pain and inflammation, MS, and muscle spasms.

Which Cannabis Products are Best for Pain?

Generally, Indica dominant or cannabis products high CBD produce an overall body effect and sense of well-being. Therefore indica dominant cannabis products in any form are most often recommended and effective for pain relief.

When it comes to Indica dominant cannabis, it’s available in flower, vaporizer cartridges, concentrated resins and live rosins, or edibles form. 

High CBD content cannabis products produce the most effective results for pain therapy or recovery after strenuous physical activities. CBD cannabis products come in many forms such as pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures, or topical creams that have been studied to be effective in localized pain reduction.

A Vibe Dispensary typically carries over 600+ types of cannabis products. Vibe dispensary budtenders are trained and familiar with every cannabis product available in the dispensary and are ready to guide you through the selection process to help you find the right product for your personal use. 

Information on this website is shared for educational and informational purposes only.

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Consult a medical doctor before acting on any information gathered on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a pre-existing or other medical condition.

For further reading about CBD please refer to the references below.

Papers of particular interest on CBD, published recently, have been outlined and links provided to medical studies and research available.


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Research paper available in PDF form for download here: fphar-08-00269

1.Plastic and Neuroprotective Mechanisms Involved in the Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol in Psychiatric Disorders

Alline C. Campos1*, Manoela V. Fogaça1, Franciele F. Scarante1, Sâmia R. L. Joca2, Amanda J. Sales2, Felipe V. Gomes3, Andreza B. Sonego1, Naielly S. Rodrigues1, IsmaelGalve-Roperh4,5 andFranciscoS.Guimarães1

1 Department of Pharmacology, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Applied Neurosciences (NAPNA), School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, 2 Department of Physical and Chemical, School of Pharmaceutical Science of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, 3 Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 4 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I, School of Biology, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain, 5 Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Instituto de Universitario de Investigación en Neuroquímica and Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria, Madrid, Spain.

Frontiers in Pharmacology,  published: 23 May 2017 doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00269

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