If you have been dealing with chronic pain for some time, you might understandably be willing to try anything to get some relief. You may even be considering taking marijuana because you have heard good things about how it can help those struggling with ongoing pain. So, should you try it? And if so, where do you even get it?
Should You Try Marijuana for Your Pain?
Although marijuana is still classed as a controlled substance under federal law, it is permitted for medical use in 37 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia. Unlike recreational cannabis that contains the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), medical cannabis only contains cannabidiol (CBD), which does not make you high.
According to WebMD, the chemicals in medical marijuana connect with cannabinoid receptors in the immune system and brain, but it is still not clear as to the exact process of how the drug affects these receptors.
Medical marijuana is said to work as a painkiller and can relieve some of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). It can also prevent vomiting in those receiving chemotherapy and is used to treat some of the rarer forms of epilepsy.
Even in the states where medical marijuana is legal, what it can be used to treat will vary from one state to another. Examples of conditions often treated with medical marijuana include MS, chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Crohn’s disease.
The issue of whether you try medical marijuana to ease your pain is a personal one. It may have been recommended by a friend, in which case you may need to source it yourself. However, the good folk at Utah pain management center KindlyMD say that if it has been recommended by a pain management specialist, you will be given a written recommendation that you can use to get it at a marijuana dispensary.
The state you live in will determine the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. You might need to have a marijuana ID card in order to be able to buy it from a dispensary.
Are There Any Risks with Medical Marijuana?
There has not been enough research into the use of medical marijuana, and there is not enough known about the effects of long-term use in those with certain medical conditions. In fact, there are a number of side effects that have been reported by people who have taken it, including:
- slower reaction times
- increased heartbeat
- short term memory problems
- impaired cognitive abilities
- increased risk of lung damage (when smoked)
- potential for abuse
- low blood pressure.
Why Do People Use Marijuana?
When it comes to treating pain, there are many advocates for medical marijuana. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 60% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal for both recreational and medical use while another 31% believe that it should be legalized for medicinal use.
There are those that believe marijuana is far safer than other treatments such as opioid drugs, which themselves are very addictive. Marijuana is considered to be a much safer alternative for the treatment of long-term or chronic pain. The benefits of marijuana can be found in the compounds that do not contain THC, meaning that those who take CBD oil and other compounds do not have to worry about getting high.
Medical marijuana is legal in the majority of American states, despite still being classed as a controlled substance under Federal law. It is used to treat conditions that cause both pain and nausea such as fibromyalgia, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and MS, but many doctors are reluctant to recommend its use because of it still being illegal under federal law.