Can Medical Marijuana Help Ease Nerve Pain?

Around 20 million people live with neuropathic pain, also called neuropathy or nerve pain. Neuropathy symptoms can be complex and varied, as they highly depend on the extent and location of the nerve damage. Nerve pain causes a significant decrease in quality of life and traditional medical treatments often fall short of full pain relief. It’s no wonder researchers, patients, and doctors are all constantly looking for new ways to relieve neuropathic pain.

Medical Marijuana for Nerve Pain Relief

Medical marijuana has burst onto the pain relief scene with several studies confirming its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. A total of 37 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have all legalized marijuana for medical use based on both scientific and anecdotal evidence of its therapeutic effects. Even with so much evidence in its favor, marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic according to the federal government, making a comprehensive scientific study of it nearly impossible.

The Evidence

Despite the federal government’s out-of-touch laws on marijuana, that hasn’t stopped some U.S. agencies, organizations, and educational institutes from doing their own research to find out the facts. Along with research done in more marijuana-friendly countries, we’re beginning to compile a body of evidence that cannot be denied. Some studies that show marijuana’s nerve pain-relieving benefits include:

  • Wilsey et al, 2008 – pain intensity was significantly reduced by smoking marijuana versus the placebo group
  • Ellis et al, 2009 – 46% of HIV patients who smoked marijuana reported an average reduction in neuropathy pain of 30%
  • Ware et al, 2010 – patients in a high-dose THC group reported significantly less neuropathic pain and better sleep
  • Wilsey et al, 2013 – over half of the patients in the study who inhaled vaporized cannabis demonstrated a 30% reduction in nerve pain
  • Wallace et al, 2015 – patients who had experienced at least 6 months of neuropathic pain in their feet reported pain relief with high-dose THC

How Does Marijuana Help Nerve Pain?

The exact mechanisms are still not fully known, but researchers believe that the substances in marijuana interact with various body systems to mitigate nerve pain, primarily the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating the central nervous system. Marijuana mimics the cannabinoids produced by this system and binds to receptors that control pain response. This blocks pain signals and leads to less pain reported in neuropathy patients.

Get Medical Marijuana for Your Nerve Pain

If you’ve tried traditional treatments for your nerve pain with no luck, maybe it’s time to give medical marijuana a try. Contact Southwest Florida’s medical marijuana experts at Hakunah Matata at (239)789-6561 to schedule your appointment with a qualified medical marijuana physician today! We’ll help you get your state-issued Medical Marijuana Use Registry card for your qualifying condition and a prescription that best treats your symptoms.