Can you use cannabis as a means of therapeutically treating mid-level pain? The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: how effective this is for you personally may depend on several distinct factors. Also, just as there are individuals who are allergic to peanuts, there are individuals who may be allergic to cannabis; or even certain strains on it.
Now understand, cannabis allergy is extremely rare, and oftentimes when you hear someone say they have a cannabis allergy, there’s a distinct possibility they really just aren’t comfortable with associated psychoactive effects of this compound in high doses. Everyone is “wired” a little bit different. So consult with your physician to know what the best choice is here. Generally, the factors they’re going to advise you on are the following:
- Associated Strains: Indica, Sativa, And Hybrid Options
- CBD Concentration And Associated Terpenes
- The Level Of THC Concentration
- Personal Constitution
- Method Of Ingestion
Associated Strains of Medical Marijuana: Indica, Sativa, And Hybrid Options
Many don’t realize that cannabis has multiple strains. You may have heard of terms like “Maui Wowie”, or “Kush”. These can be a bit nebulous, but these names actually do describe differing strains. Just to sum it up–because an entire dissertation can be written on this subject–Indica strains are the “downers”, and Sativa strains are the “uppers”. Even so, some people experience either strain differently, just as some people can fall asleep even if they’re heavily caffeinated.
Hybrid options mix and match different strains to combine effects. Another way of saying it would be that Sativa strains facilitate more of a “head” high and Indica strains result in more of a “body” high. The “high” here is the psychoactive effect associated with THC, but you don’t have to use any tetrahydrocannabinol at all for pain relief.
You can actually just use “cannabidiol“, or CBD if that suits you better. This essentially reacts with cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system and can reduce pain from aches or mild injuries.
CBD Concentration And Associated Terpenes in Medical Marijuana
The level of CBDs you find in the cannabis you use will do more to contribute toward pain relief, generally, than THC. There are strains that feature a half and half “mix” of CBD and THC for maximum body and psychological effect; which option best fits you will depend.
Things like terpenes have additional effects. Cannabis has over 100 terpenes at minimum, and these effect odor, “flavor”, and other aspects of the substance. You can even find strains like hemp that are entirely CBD and terpenes. Well, not entirely, but isolate compounds exist where THC is removed and only CBD, terpenes, or some combination of the two remain. The level of CBDs and terpenes in the cannabis you use to assuage pain will contribute to how effective this can be for you.
The Level Of THC Concentration in Medical Marijuana
Higher levels of THC have been associated, by some users, with higher levels of pain relief; however, the medical literature includes some controversy on this point. Owing to the psychoactive effects, there’s a high likelihood of pain is simply “forgotten” owing to the short-term memory effects of THC.
That said, there is definitely a noticeable difference in your “state” between ingesting, and not ingesting, THC. It’s also hard to dismiss the mental alleviation which transpires when ingesting this compound. Many feel happy, hungry, and content–but not all. Some feel paranoid.
That said, there is such a thing as a psychosomatic response. If you believe something enough, positively or negatively, there is an effect in your physical constitution. Sometimes dreams do leave physical marks of pain on the body. Sometimes placebos truly produce cures owing to the power of belief.
So when you definitely feel the psychoactive effects of THC and become happier, your reduced stress levels could contribute to reduced pain-causing inflammation, contributing to healing. Stress reduces telomerase on your DNA. Telomerase acts like tape at the end of a shoestring. As tape binds together the fibers of the shoestring, so telomerase binds together your DNA. As it erodes, you age. So, reducing stress can contribute to youthful longevity and increased bodily healing. This is one way THC could help.
As noted earlier, some people have allergies that prevent them from use of cannabis in any form. Some people are extremely sensitive to the psychoactive effects of THC. There is a tolerance that can be built up in others so that only high amounts produce any pain alleviation. Consulting with your doctor can help you determine the most effective dosage.
Medical Marijuana’s Method Of Ingestion
Smoking is bad for the lungs; though there is some conjecture that things balance out owing to stress reduction, carcinogens definitely enter the lungs through smoke. It’s better to ingest THC through an edible or a cream. The same is true with CBD.
That said, how it affects you through digestion is different; so a little experimentation may be necessary. It’s a lot easier to get too much through oral ingestion. While it’s next to impossible to overdose on marijuana, you can overdo anything–even caffeine has an overdose level.
Treating Your Pain with Cannabis
Cannabis can definitely help alleviate pain on a physical and psychological level; you just want to get the balance right. Consult with your physician to find what will be most appropriate for your personal constitution.