In 2016, over 20% of Americans lived with some form of chronic pain according to the CDC. That’s over 50 million people suffering every single day, and the numbers have only gone up since then. With our country grappling with a devastating opioid painkiller epidemic, alternative methods to relieve pain are receiving new consideration.
Cannabis is one of these alternatives being studied. Cannabis is made up of at least two medically beneficial substances, THC and CBD. Anecdotal evidence of both THC and CBDs abilities to relieve pain is overwhelming, but more and more scientific research is also verifying these claims. Cannabis has been shown in research studies to provide significant pain relief for patients with three different types of pain:
- Nociceptive pain (pain from a physical injury)
- Neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage)
- Central pain (pain due to nervous system dysfunction or other unknown causes)
Cannabis, specifically THC and CBD, target the root cause of pain. This means that cannabis treats pain differently depending on where it originates and how it is transmitted. Just a few ways cannabis treats pain include:
- Encouraging the production of endocannabinoids
- Activating serotonin receptors, lifting the mood of a suffering patient
- Activating immune cell receptors that weaken pain signals
- Changing pro-inflammatory macrophage cells to anti-inflammatory macrophages
- Enhancing receptors for GABA, a main inhibitory neurotransmitter
Maximum pain relief is usually not attained with cannabis alone. Cannabis given in conjunction with other non-opioid pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, has been shown as the most effective treatment plan. Determining the optimal combination of THC and CBD in the cannabis used for treatment is also an important consideration. Many pain specialists who offer cannabis treatment recommend a cannabis product high in CBD and low in THC. This enhances the medical benefits without the “high” that many people associate with cannabis. Limiting the amount of THC that is used will also prevent patients from becoming tolerant or resistant to cannabis treatment.
If you are living with chronic pain in southwest Florida and don’t know where to turn, let the cannabis treatment experts at Hakunah Matata help you attain your official medical marijuana card. Our network of highly qualified Florida physicians will assess your pain and, if appropriate, will refer you to receive a 100% legal medical marijuana card, along with writing a prescription for medical marijuana to be filled at a state-licensed center. Call (239) 789-6561, email us, or contact us through our website to schedule your eligibility appointment.