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Chronic Pain Treatment and Management with Medical Marijuana

Chronic pain treatment and management are challenging for patients and doctors, but medical marijuana may be able to provide chronic pain relief where many traditional chronic pain medications do not. Cannabinoids have well-documented analgesic properties that make medical marijuana an effective medicine to treat many cases of chronic pain syndrome. In scientific studies, most medical marijuana patients experience pain relief. Medical marijuana as a chronic pain management tool can reduce patients' pain and improve quality of life, without the same serious side effects associated with use of some pharmaceutical pain relievers.


Medical Marijuana Can Help with Chronic Pain Treatment and Chronic Pain Management

Pain relief is one of medical marijuana's most well-known benefits. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, and even The New England Journal of Medicine endorse the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of severe chronic pain.

In a 2000 study, 70-80% of patients experienced pain relief when using medical marijuana. For chronic pain patients, one of the most unpleasant aspects of traditional chronic pain treatment is the long-term use of opioids. These drugs have many side effects in the short and long term. They can also be difficult for many people with chronic pain to obtain in sufficient quantities to provide adequate chronic pain management. Medical marijuana can replace or reduce the use of opioids in chronic pain treatment, as it did for a 47-year-old woman in a 2003 case study, who experienced less pain with reduced doses of three opioids and a small amount of medical marijuana, compared to large doses of opioids only.

The Institute of Medicine found in 1999 that, "THC is significantly superior to placebo and produces dose-related analgesia peaking at around 5 hours, comparable to but out-lasting that of codeine." Side effects were minimal and dose-related, including slurred speech, sedation and mental clouding, blurred vision, dizziness and ataxia. By comparison, many opioids, including codeine, can have side effects including hallucination, seizures, difficulty urinating, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. People with chronic pain can often manage their pain using medicinal marijuana while regulating their own dosage in order to avoid side effects.

Cannabis is even seen as an effective treatment for one of the most mysterious and challenging types of chronic pain, chronic neuropathic (nerve injury) pain. In 2006, medical marijuana was named the most promising treatment for neuropathic pain by a group of elite pain researchers convened at a MedPanel summit.


Using Medical Marijuana As Part of Your Chronic Pain Treatment and Management Plan

If you're interested in using medical marijuana to treat your chronic pain, you'll need to research your local medical marijuana laws and talk to a medical marijuana doctor about obtaining any license or recommendations needed in order to use cannabis legally for your chronic pain. Come prepared for your visit to a medical marijuana doctor with information on your current treatment, your medical history, and what you hope to accomplish by using medicinal marijuana to manage your chronic pain.

Once you've obtained a recommendation, you'll need to find a medical marijuana caregiver and/or a medical marijuana distributor to help you obtain your medicine. Depending upon your type and severity of chronic pain, you may need to make several adjustments to your dosage, with the guidance of your doctor, in order to obtain effective chronic pain treatment with medical marijuana with minimal side effects.


Disclaimer:This text is for informative purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from a physician. Always consult your doctor before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.