Does Medical Weed Help Nerve Pain?
Are you experiencing nerve pain and looking for relief? If so, you may have heard of medical weed as a potential solution. But does medical weed really help with nerve pain? In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the science behind medical marijuana and its effects on nerve pain. We’ll explore how it works to reduce inflammation and provide relief from symptoms associated with chronic nerve conditions like neuropathy. Finally, we will discuss the safety profile of using cannabis as a treatment option for managing your nerve pain.
What is Medical Marijuana and How Can it Treat Nerve Pain?
Medical marijuana, commonly referred to as cannabis, is a natural plant-based medicine that has been used for thousands of years to treat various medical conditions. It contains several active chemicals that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system by mimicking the compounds naturally produced in the body. This system has been found to be involved in many physiological processes, including pain modulation and inflammation.
When it comes to nerve pain, medical marijuana may be an effective treatment option thanks to its ability to act on receptors throughout the nervous system. Studies have shown that cannabinoids can reduce inflammation and swelling around nerves, which can provide relief from discomfort caused by damaged or compressed nerves. In addition, cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have also been found to help reduce nerve pain indirectly by binding with receptors in the brain that regulate pain perception and emotion.
Medical marijuana can be taken orally as an oil, tincture, or pill, and it can also be vaporized or smoked. It is important for patients who are considering using medical marijuana for nerve pain to consult their doctor first so they can discuss possible risks and side effects associated with using this form of medicine.
What Does the Research Say?
Research conducted over the past few decades has demonstrated the potential of medical weed in providing relief from chronic neuropathic pain.
One study published in 2012 found that medical marijuana significantly reduced neuropathic pain in adults with HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. The study, which involved 38 participants, reported an average reduction of 30% in their pain intensity after six weeks of cannabis use.
In a 2018 study, researchers evaluated the efficacy of inhaled cannabis for treating chronic neuropathic pain. The study included 76 participants who had been diagnosed with painful neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. After just five days of cannabis use, nearly two-thirds of the participants reported a significant decrease in their pain levels compared to baseline assessments.
Other studies have also reported similar findings on the efficacy of medical marijuana for treating various types of chronic neuropathic pain, including cancer-related pain and postherpetic neuralgia (nerve damage following a shingles infection). Despite these promising results, it is important to note that not all patients respond equally well to medical marijuana and that further research is still needed on this topic.
Potential Side Effects of Using Medical Cannabis for Nerve Pain
Medical marijuana is a legitimate treatment for nerve pain, but, as with any medication, it comes with possible side effects. Some of the most commonly reported adverse effects associated with medical cannabis use include anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness, paranoia, and impaired coordination. In rare cases, over-consumption may lead to hallucinations or psychotic episodes.
Additionally, medical marijuana has been shown to interact with certain medications. It can slow down the metabolism of certain drugs like antidepressants and antiepileptics, leading to higher levels in the body and an increased risk of side effects from those drugs. It can also increase one’s heart rate, which can be dangerous for people with existing heart conditions.
In conclusion, while medical cannabis can be effective for treating nerve pain, it is important to weigh the risks against the benefits before beginning a course of treatment. Before purchasing medical marijuana products, patients should consult their doctors about possible interactions between marijuana and other medications they may be taking as well as any underlying health issues that might increase their risk of experiencing side effects from using medical marijuana. When used under a doctor’s supervision, medical weed can be a safe and effective treatment for various types of nerve pain.
How we reviewed this article:
- Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs
- Cannabis for peripheral neuropathy: The good, the bad, and the unknown
Jake Peter received his journalism degree from Emerson College and has been writing content for the Sanctuary Wellness Institute since 2021. He is passionate about all things cannabis.