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Using Marijuana to Treat Chronic Pain

Marijuana has been used for a very long time, for rituals, but also to treat various illnesses. However, studies that have been conducted in the last decade have shown that it is also extremely effective at treating various types of pain. The medical community has become more lenient towards using both cannabis extracts, as well as the plant itself as part of treatments for a wide array of medical conditions. This has lead to an increase in consumption, recreational and medical, by individuals who have diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions.

One of the biggest advantages of cannabis products is the fact that they can help treat chronic pain, without any of the side effects that come with synthetic painkillers that are available in pharmacies.

This having been said, depending on where individual life, using Marijuana or Cannabis products to alleviate chronic pain may be more or less difficult.

Obtaining Marijuana for the treatment

There are areas of the world where the consumption and purchase of Marijuana are legal for recreational purposes. This makes it easy for individuals to purchase it; however, it is still important to consult a doctor before using it to treat pain. In areas such as British Columbia, Marijuana can only be legally obtained from government-owned stores or licensed private ones, such as TopShelfBC.

It is also possible for individuals to grow their Marijuana, at home; however, this is not advised for those who want to use the plant to treat a medical condition.

Understanding the effects of different Marijuana species

There are three main categories of Marijuana. Individuals are usually able to choose between these three when purchasing Marijuana from a dispensary, regardless if it will be used for recreation or medicinally. The categories are Sativa, Indica, and Hybrids, and each of them will have different effects on the mood of the consumer.

  • Sativa – This type of Marijuana tends to be more energizing. It traditionally originates from Western Europe and Asia. The plants are taller than the other types and have thinner leaves;
  • Indica – Indica is known for its highly relaxing properties, which also makes it great for individuals who also lead stressful lives and have trouble falling asleep at night. It has broader leaves than the Sativa strain;
  • Hybrid – This is a category that includes a wide variety of hybrid strains that are bred from Sativa and Indica. The actual hybrid products are not standardized and different dispensaries may have different products. In terms of effects, they are often more balanced than Sativa and Indica, offering the best of both types that they derive from;

This having been said, it is important to keep in mind that not all Sativas will have energizing effects, and not Indicas will be calming. Please pay attention to the descriptions of the products that are being sold by the dispensaries and also avoid using energizing types of marijuana before bed.

The effects of the marijuana products are dictated by the CBD: THC ratio.

Determining if CBD or THC is more important

Doctors will usually prescribe marijuana-based products depending on the type of pain that they are trying to treat. However, it is usually safe to experiment with marijuana products that have different ratios. To do this, it is important to understand what CBD and THC are and how they can affect the body.

CBD is used to alleviate pain, inflammation, anxiety disorders, as well as a wide variety of other medical conditions. The compound can be found in lotions, creams, and oils. CBD is preferred by individuals who lead active lives because the substance is not intoxicating and does not alter the state of mind of the individual consuming it, regardless of the product that it is in. It is possible to find products that contain only CBD extracts and that do not give the high that marijuana is known for.

THC, on the other hand, is the intoxicating compound in marijuana. It is also used to treat pain, can also eliminate sensations of nausea. THC can be found in edible products which may contain different amounts of the compound. The higher the THC levels of an edible or smokable product (including electronic cigarette oils), the more intense the high will be.

Deciding which is the best to treat chronic pain

Healthcare providers will be able to identify the exact THC or CBD content that is required to treat a certain kind of chronic pain, however, it is important to remember that both compounds may be used. Traditionally, CBD has been proven to be more effective than THC, but this is only because it is easier to create highly concentrated CBD products that will not impair an individual’s daily activities.