Chronic Pain and Medical Marijuana

In a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) report, some 50 million Americans reported that they had chronic pain, while almost 20 million reported that they had high-impact chronic pain. Whether this chronic pain is due to occupational injuries or other degenerative diseases, one of the most common sources for pain is in the back.

Chronic pain can lead many to a myriad of negative consequences, such as opioid dependence, anxiety and depression, and reduced quality of life. All of these add up to making chronic pain a horrible experience that no patient should have to go through. Chronic pain can affect everyone of all walks of life, and it is important that patients who report chronic pain are allowed to seek alternative treatments for their chronic pain.

One of the best options for treating chronic pain may have its roots in medical marijuana. As an alternative to opioids and other pain killers, medical marijuana is effective at reducing swelling, providing relief from pain, and it can help counteract other negative effects of having chronic pain like insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

If you are ready to try an alternative to opioid prescriptions and you live in the Canton, Illinois area, be sure to visit Salveo Health & Wellness today. Salveo Health & Wellness is a licensed medical marijuana dispensary that excels at patient treatment. No matter how you are feeling or how you perceive your quality of life to be, our staff is compassionate, kind, and caring. We want you to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. We can assist you with the medical card application process as well. For more information, be sure to visit the rest of our website today or call us at 309-204-3909.

Scientific Review

Depending on who you ask in the medical research field, marijuana can be effective for managing chronic pain. There are some doctors and researchers who are adamantly against medical marijuana programs as an alternative to steroids or opioids; however, as more and more research comes out, certain doctors and researchers are being convinced otherwise.

One of the biggest issues when determining the effectiveness of medical marijuana for treating chronic pain lies in the lack of research due to governmental regulations. Because the federal government still recognizes cannabis and marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the official policy stance states that there is no accepted medical use for such a drug. As a result, researchers have to comply with strict regulations that decide what they can and what they cannot do.

Because universities across the US receive federal funding, if they violate any federal regulations, they risk losing funding for their projects and research grants. While alcohol and opioid research is well-understood, the medical uses for marijuana seem to remain in the dark.

Once you go outside of the US, there is suddenly plenty of more research. While some of the studies are small, there have been positive research findings that have helped shed some light on the effectiveness of medical marijuana for the treatment of chronic pain — especially back pain.

Israel, Germany, and the European Academy of Neurology have all conducted successful tests that gauge how effective medical marijuana is at treating chronic pain. Some of the tests’ sample groups featured patients with severe medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. In all of these studies, the patients reported that medical marijuana was effective at alleviating their chronic pain. Some of the studies also reported that patients felt more dizzy, sleepy, and confused as well.

Risks of Using Medical Marijuana

The risks associated with using medical marijuana are still being researched, just like the positive effects. One of the most concerning risks is the possibility of bronchitis if medical marijuana is smoked frequently. One solution to this problem is encouraging medical marijuana patients to try vaping medical marijuana distillate or try using edibles. Both of these methods will most likely reduce the risk of bronchitis.

There is also cause for concern with elderly patients using medical marijuana. The elderly are more sensitive to acute changes within their body, and marijuana and cannabis are known to increase the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Medical marijuana can also cause balancing issues since one of the side effects is dizziness. For this reason, elderly patients who are looking to effectively manage their pain through medical marijuana should exercise greater caution.

Marijuana as an Alternative to Opioids

It is no secret that the US is in the middle of an opioid crisis. To put things into perspective, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids was six times higher in 2017 compared to 1999. Many researchers suggest that the overprescription of opioids leads patients to a dependence on the highly addictive drug. This forces them to seek illicit forms of the drug, and eventually overdose to achieve the same “high” consistently.

To stop this, many doctors and researchers are considering prescribing medical marijuana or at least offering it as an alternative to patients who have family or personal histories with opiate addiction. There are plenty of stories on the internet of people who are able to overcome their chronic pain through the use of medical marijuana.

If you are interested in being part of Illinois’ Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) that allows patients and prospective patients to choose medical marijuana treatment over opioid treatments for chronic pain, be sure to visit Salveo Health & Wellness’s website today. We have a variety of resources available to help you. Give us a call today at 309-204-3909 — we’d love to help you find the right treatment for your chronic pain!