One of the areas where medical professionals have been between a rock and a hard place is with treating their patient’s pain, especially those patients with chronic pain, thanks to the opioid epidemic. Researchers estimate that about 4 out of 5 individuals that start to use heroin started on the path of addiction by abusing a painkiller prescribed by a doctor. Medical marijuana is being sought out as an alternative to prescription medications in the treatment of pain.
Learn more to determine if this is the right path for pain treatment for you and the pain you face.
Pains That Medical Marijuana Can Treat
Doctors that legally describe cannabis to their patients are seeking to treat a variety of conditions. Currently, they are held to certain standards under the state law they practice, and must follow the rules in how they prescribe medical marijuana. These rules include what conditions are eligible to be treated with cannabis. Each state is different with what they allow to be treated by medical marijuana. These conditions include:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pain that is related to prior injuries or accidents
Speaking with a medical professional in your state can be an effective way to learn if your pain falls under your particular state’s rules for being prescribed cannabis. It is possible that another condition you have may help you qualify for this treatment. They can also help you determine if your pain can potentially be successfully managed through a prescription for medical marijuana.
One barrier some patients face when considering medical marijuana is the number of choices open in it. There are a variety of methods to take cannabis in addition to there be numerous strains available. It can be scary and confusing for some people that they don’t bother learning more even if this treatment is a better option for them.
In most situations, your physician will help you determine the best method of ingestion and the right strain for your particular issue. Some methods of usage include:
- Smoking it
- Eating it baked in a food
- Inhaling a mist
- Sublingual ingestion under the tongue
- Topical application of lotion, oil, or other substance
It can feel overwhelming to be faced with so many decisions when faced with pain. Your doctor can help you to wade through all of the information to find the right treatment path for you. They won’t force you to go with a method of use or strain that you’re not comfortable with using.
Potential Side Effects
As with any medication, there are some possible side effects that you can experience when using medical marijuana. These include:
- Red and itchy eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Issues with coordination
- Lowered blood pressure
- Increased appetite
If you experience any side effects after using the cannabis your doctor has prescribed, contact them to discuss whether or not your treatment needs adjustment. Some patients find that the mild side effects they see are minuscule compared to the benefits they get, but not every patient is the same. It may be necessary to change the method of usage, strain, or even the dose amount to find the right treatment plan.
Research of Medical Marijuana Over Other Prescription Pain Killers
There is some very positive researching showcasing how medical marijuana can be an excellent option. One German literature review found that individuals taking cannabis-based medication for pain were 50 percent or more improvement in their pain. A small study found that patients with Fibromyalgia had half of the participants replace their other pain medications for medical marijuana. A historical literature review concluded that medical marijuana could be a beneficial treatment for headache sufferers but added to their conclusion that more research is necessary.
Lack of Medical Marijuana Research
One of the issues facing doctors and their patients is the lack of research out on medical marijuana, and it’s efficacy in treating a variety of conditions, including pain. Don’t let the lack of medical marijuana research completely sway you from speaking with your doctor.
Medical marijuana is gaining traction across the nation as a safe alternative, with 33 states having some form of legal medical marijuana. However, the federal laws still have marijuana as an illegal substance making it difficult for researchers to perform any research on cannabis due to funding and other restrictions.
That is why it can be crucial to speak with your doctor about whether or not you’re an excellent candidate to use medical marijuana to treat your pain to help you make an informed decision.
Medical marijuana offers another option for individuals that have their quality of life impacted by pain. Ready to find out more about whether or not it can be helpful for your medical needs? Contact us today to speak with a doctor in your state about your options for medical cannabis to treat your pain.