Cannabis has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, but recent research has revealed many of its health benefits for pain management. With increasing numbers of states legalizing the use of cannabis for medical use, many individuals are turning to cannabis for relief from chronic pain. This article will discuss the various ways in which cannabis can be used to help manage pain, including its anti-inflammatory properties, its ability to provide relief from nausea and its potential to relieve anxiety. It will also look at the safety and efficacy of using cannabis for pain management, as well as its potential side effects. Finally, it will provide guidance on how to use cannabis safely and effectively for pain relief.

What types of pain can cannabis be used to effectively treat?

Cannabis has been used to effectively treat a variety of types of pain, including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and pain associated with cancer and other illnesses. Additionally, cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating pain from arthritis, multiple sclerosis, headaches, and muscle spasms. Additionally, research suggests that cannabis may be effective in treating post-operative pain as well.

Are there any potential risks associated with using cannabis to treat pain?

Yes, there are potential risks associated with using cannabis to treat pain. Cannabis can act as a depressant on the central nervous system, which can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. Cannabis can also interact with certain medications, so it is important to consult with a doctor before using cannabis to treat pain. Additionally, cannabis can cause impairments in memory, coordination, and reaction time, so caution should be taken when performing activities that require alertness and concentration.

What are the potential benefits of using cannabis to treat chronic pain?

The potential benefits of using cannabis to treat chronic pain include the ability to reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain without the need for opioids. Cannabis also has fewer side effects than most pain medications, making it a safer option for long-term pain management. Cannabis may also help to improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and improve overall mood.

Is cannabis an effective alternative to traditional pain management medications?

Yes, cannabis can be an effective alternative to traditional pain management medications. Studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce inflammation, reduce muscle spasms, and provide relief from chronic pain. In addition, cannabis can be beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain as it has fewer side effects than many traditional medications.

Even though pain management is one of the most common reasons people report for using medical marijuana in the United States, 1 there is limited evidence that marijuana works to treat most types of acute or chronic pain. A few studies have found that marijuana can be helpful in treating neuropathic pain a specific type of chronic pain caused by damaged nerves. Opioids are a class of drugs used to reduce pain and include prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. More than 70, people died from drug overdoses in in the United States, and two in three of these overdose deaths involved an opioid. Although some research suggests that states that legalize marijuana use for medical purposes experience a reduction in opioid prescribing and opioid-related deaths, other research that examines the impact of medical marijuana policies over a longer period of time indicates marijuana legalization is not associated with decreases in opioid overdose deaths and that prior research findings could be coincidental. Importantly, using marijuana either alone or in combination with opioids has been shown to increase risk for opioid misuse. FDA-approved medications are available to treat opioid use disorder. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Marijuana and Public Health. Section Navigation. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Syndicate. Minus Related Pages. Opioids and Marijuana Opioids are a class of drugs used to reduce pain and include prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website. You will be subject to the destination websites privacy policy when you follow the link. CDC is not responsible for Section compliance accessibility on other federal or private website. Cancel Continue.
Cannabis marijuana for chronic pain management straddles the line between pharmaceutical and alternative, while also existing in a grey zone of legality that is largely based on where you live. How about heroin? The federal government says yes to both. In fact, in , the US Controlled Substances Act classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug, due to its addictiveness and propensity for abuse. California was the first state to permit legal access to and use of botanical cannabis for medicinal purposes under physician supervision with the enactment of the Compassionate Use Act. That schism makes navigating marijuana potentially confusing for consumers, and the federal classification creates many obstacles in the scientific study of marijuana for medicinal use. Luckily, researchers have found some ways to get the science done. Rheumatoid Arthritis. But understanding how marijuana works and how to use it for maximum benefit requires more information, and sometimes a bit of trial and error. There are three parts of the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout your body and help determine how cannabinoids affect you. CB1 receptors also play a role in the signaling of pain to the brain via the spinal cord. On a physiological level, CB1 receptors can affect your emotions, memory, executive functioning, and reward. CB1 is the receptor predominantly responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis. These receptors are expressed in both immune cells, peripheral outer tissues, and in the CNS but in much lower levels than CB1 receptors. THC acts directly on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, although not with the same precision as our internal endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. While most of the medicinal qualities of marijuana are attributed to these cannabinoids, other plant properties are involved as well. The first step in consuming medical marijuana legally speaking will be getting a recommendation from your doctor. Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, doctors give recommendations or orders but are not legally permitted to give prescriptions. You can find state-by-state information regarding what conditions qualify for medical marijuana. There are three main ways to consume cannabis. Inhalation marijuana allows the active components to readily cross the blood-brain barrier and may be an effective way to decrease the CNS response to pain sensations. This can be especially useful for difficult to treat neuropathic pain or centralized pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia. When people smoke marijuana, they typically begin feeling effects after 2 minutes, with that feeling peaking after 30 minutes. When people inhale cannabis via vaporization, they absorb more of the active compounds than when smoking. This is an important consideration, especially for first-time users.