What are the most effective cannabis strains to treat chronic pain?
Medical cannabis is a sought-after alternative to traditional pain medication, such as opioids. Cannabis can help with certain kinds of chronic pain. This includes the pain that results from nerve inflammation and damage.
At present, chronic pain is more prevalent than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes altogether. Chronic pain condition is by far the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States.
The majority of cannabis-based products do not have the approval of authorities such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and further evidence is needed to prove their effectiveness and safety.
There is evidence that cannabis and its compounds could help ease certain pain.
There are various varieties or varieties of cannabis that are available and each can produce slightly different effects on the user.
This article will take a look at the top cannabis strains to help with long-term pain relief.
The best cannabis strains for chronic pain
The various varieties of cannabis plants comprise the following:
- Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis in Sativa
There is a lack of research on the effectiveness of specific cannabis strains for pain or other ailments. This is why specific strain recommendations aren't medically verified.
A survey conducted by an online poll, which included 95 respondents, was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2014.
Researchers discovered that the participants prefer Indica cultivars to help with pain relief as well as sedation and sleep, while they would prefer Sativa varieties to boost mood and energy.
Concerning the management of pain, participants reported an effect that was statistically significant in using Indica for:
- headaches that are not caused by migraine
- joint pain
It is important to remember that this study was not without drawbacks. It was a small-scale study and anonymous. It also required respondents to provide information about their symptoms. Respondents didn't use marijuana in a controlled environment which could have led to differences in dosage, composition, and potency.
Another study looked at the benefits of organically grown indica and Sativa varieties in treating many medical ailments. A little more than half participants used cannabis for treating HIV.
The study tracked participants over three years, and they were asked about the impact of the medication on their health during that period. The findings showed that Indica strains tend to have higher chances of improving energy and appetite levels, while both Indica and Sativa Indica strains may ease nausea to the same degree.
What is the effect of cannabis on suffering?
Cannabis has compounds that can help relieve nausea, pain, along with other symptoms. The cannabis components that are the focus of research to ease the pain are cannabidiol (CBD) and THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is different from CBD
THC is akin to the cannabinoid compounds that are naturally present within the body. Inhaling or ingestion of THC triggers the Trusted Source of the brain's receptors for cannabinoids.
The reward system of the brain reduces the levels of pain. THC is known as a psychoactive chemical since it binds with cannabinoid receptors. It causes an increased mental state, referred to as euphoria.
CBD does not trigger a buzz, but CBD does interact with pain receptors within the brain, causing pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties.
What research suggests?
In recent times, a number of studies have examined marijuana's effects in chronic pain. Certain studies have used specific parts from the plant, and others have utilized the whole plant. More research is required. Utilizing a portion that is part of cannabis (like CBD oil) helps to study the specific actions of this ingredient, however, when the entire plant is utilized there is an entourage effect. This is where the various components interact to create a greater effect.
A 2015 review by Trusted Research Source regarding the benefits of cannabinoids and cannabis for various chronic pain conditions states that a number of trials have positive outcomes. Researchers believe that cannabinoids or cannabis might be effective in the treatment of certain kinds of chronic pain such as neuropathy (nerve discomfort).
A 2016 research paper discovered that using cannabis for cancer pain resulted in the reduction of the use of opioids as well as increased quality of life and led to fewer adverse negative effects. This also led to patients making use of fewer drugs.
Studies of smaller sizes have shown positive effects on various kinds of chronic pain. For instance:
Of about 17,000 people suffering from cancer, 70% reportedly reported improvement in their pain and general well-being through cannabis.
People suffering from chronic migraines reported Trusted Source a reduction in migraine-related episodes following the use of the medication.
But, there's an urgent need for further study into cannabis usage to treat chronic pain, particularly to study the effects of different types of cannabis dosages, as well as ways of administration.
The Australian study trusted Source, released in July 2018, concluded that marijuana use does not alleviate the symptoms of pain or the necessity to take opioids. The findings were largely based on the stories of people who have taken cannabis recreationally.
Utilizing cannabis for medical reasons could result in different outcomes.
Cannabis is synthetic and medicinal
Medical cannabis is the entire unprocessed plant, not just its extracts.
Medical cannabis is only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source as a safe and effective treatment for two different conditions. These are very rare and severe epilepsy types that cause seizures that other medications haven't been in a position to control.
The drug's name is Epidiolex. It is a purified version of CBD and the FDA granted approval in June 2018.
The FDA has also approved medicines that contain synthetic THC cannabinoids known as dronabinol (Marino) along with the drug nabilone (Casement). These medications reduce nausea for patients undergoing cancer treatments and boost appetites in those who suffer from HIV.
The FDA has not yet approved the use of cannabis-based drugs to relieve pain.
Synthetic Cannabis is the term used to describe drugs like K2 as well as Spice. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)Trusted Source explains that they are not cannabis. They aren't secure and are not advised for any use. The adverse side effects of these substances can be deadly.
Synthetic cannabis aims to replicate what happens to components found in the plant. It is believed that the whole plant can have a greater impact due to the various components working together in order to produce an effect of an entourage
Risks and adverse effects:
The use of cannabis can trigger a variety of adverse effects, such as:
- breathing issues
- addiction, which affects 9 percent of those who first begin using after age 18.
- slower reaction times
- interactions with medications
- lack of concentration
- Memory problems
- mental health problems in those susceptible to them
- Rapid heart rate
- withdrawal symptoms
- Alternatives to cannabis that aren't herbal
Cannabis comes in many varieties, including: Oil
You can fully extract cannabis (FECO) out of cannabis by using grain alcohol or alcohol.
The majority of people consume FECO orally and be able to take only small quantities to reap the benefits.
CBD is a type of cannabis-derived oil that is becoming increasingly popular with people suffering from chronic pain.
It is possible to apply balms, lotions, and salves that contain cannabinoids on the skin to ease discomfort and inflammation. Transdermal patches containing cannabinoids can also be found and are generally more effective than salves or lotions.
Edibles are among the most well-known methods of using cannabis. Edibles are the process of infusing food items like brownies, cookies, and candies, with cannabis.
Cannabis edibles are a simple method of taking cannabis, however, its effects are difficult to determine.