According to this study, two thirds of medical marijuana patients listed chronic pain as their condition for qualification. Many medical studies state that cannabis for chronic pain is an effective treatment — from cancer, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, migraine, and other ailments.
Below is a quote from Cannigma explaining how marijuana relieves chronic pain.
"How Cannabis Works on Chronic Pain"
Scientists and doctors only really started to understand how cannabis interacts with the human body in the 1990s.
It was then that researchers discovered that cannabinoids, chemical compounds like THC and CBD found in the cannabis plant, are also produced naturally by the human body.
Soon thereafter, scientists mapped out an entire system of receptors in the body (the endocannabinoid system) that reacts only to cannabinoids, both those produced by the plant (phytocannabinoids) and those produced by the body (endocannabinoids).
In the years since, medical researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating key functions of the body, including mood, metabolism, learning and memory, sleep, immunity — and pain.
Today, we know that endocannabinoid receptors are involved in regulating two of the major types of pain, and how our bodies perceive them: nociceptive pain (caused by actual harm to the body, such as a burn) and neuropathic pain (caused by damage to nerves that relay pain signals).
Endocannabinoid receptors have been discovered in various parts of the peripheral and central nervous system, and in almost every aspect of the pain pathway. Other endocannabinoid receptors have been found to play a role in reducing and regulating inflammatory pain."
Chronic Pain is often connected to long-term ailments like arthritis and fibromyalgia, but can also develop after an injury or medical condition. Below are some studies on the effects of cannabis on chronic pain, quoted from Cannigma.
- A 2015 systematic review of 28 such studies concluded that “there was moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain.”
- A 2010 study on cancer pain that wasn’t responding to regular opioid medications, found that a treatment which combined CBD and THC resulted in a significant reduction of pain. In that study, 43% of subjects reported a 30% or greater improvement. This is an especially notable finding because it indicates that drugs containing multiple cannabinoids may be more effective than isolated active ingredients.
- Another highly-cited study from 2008, examining the effects of smoking cannabis for neuropathic pain, found that using resulted in significant pain relief.
- A 2006 study by British researchers examining the effects of Sativex, a cannabis-based drug, found that it led to significant improvement on pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Another highly cited study from 2008 examined the effect of Nabilone, a THC-based drug, on fibromyalgia patients. It found that the treatment resulted in significant improvements in pain and quality of life.
- A 2016 study looked at the benefits of medical cannabis in people with various kinds of treatment-resistant chronic pain. Researchers found that marijuana not only reduced pain but also significantly reduced the use of prescription opioid medications.
- Another 2016 study looked at the use of medically prescribed cannabis in patients with chronic migraine headaches. Over 85% of the patients reported having fewer migraines per month (average of 10.4 down to 4.6).
Whether you suffer from pain due to an illness or a medical condition, we hope cannabis use provides you relief in some way.