Chronic pain persists over a long period of time and is resistant to most medical treatments. The number of Americans who suffer from chronic pain is approaching 80 million – more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics. Chronic pain can have a wide range of causes and can be associated with a number of different disease processes, thus the ability to diagnose chronic pain syndromes has been a widely debated topic within the medical community for many years. More and more sufferers are looking towards cannabis (medical marijuana) for treatment. Over 2 dozen scientific studies focused on the effectiveness of cannabis have been published in the last few years. The evidence shows that cannabinoids may possess pain-relieving properties. The findings are especially promising for those who suffer from the most severe cases of chronic pain.
So, who can benefit? The research is suggesting that there are conditions where cannabis may be an effective treatment:
Relieves nausea during chemotherapy treatment, may prevent the spread of some cancers. The National Cancer Institute says that commercially available cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) are approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq
These include spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. There is evidence of reduced pain and spasticity resulting from nerve damage. Also, central pain syndromes and bladder dysfunction (disorders not including Parkinson’s disease) seemed to be improved with cannabis use. http://www.parkinson.org/find-help/blogs/whats-hot/august-2014
Cannabinoids seem to be more effective than opiates in treating long-term, chronic pain. Researchers say they need more data but many people living with severe pain due to conditions that affect joints and connective tissue, like arthritis, use cannabis. Among medicinal marijuana users in Canada, 65 percent said they use medicinal marijuana for severe arthritis. http://www.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/treatment/pros-and-cons-of-marijuana-for-joint-pain/
Research suggests that, because of its epigenetic influence toward inflammation suppression, cannabis use could be efficacious in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, lupus, colitis, multiple sclerosis and the like, in which chronic inflammation plays a central role. These studies hold promise that cannabis can help with pain management and that its anti-inflammatory properties could potentially help in the treatment of many diseases. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602150914.htm
Read more about CBD (Cannabis) here: http://naturalpainrelief.org/cbd-cannabis/