Despite it’s been cultivated since thousands of years ago around the world, the use of marijuana is controversial; demonized by ones and loved by others, there’s no doubt that this plant has led a new way about how we deal with some diseases and physical conditions.
During the last decades, some specialists have recommended cannabis use for several diseases, from epilepsy to chronic pain. But, is it really helpful?
Pain is subjective and very personal, no matter how many tests the affected person take, it can’t be measured. What is really measurable are the negative effects of chronic pain: they are wide, from big amounts of money invested annually to eliminate or at least reduce pain, to side effects of some opioid treatments, based on that, researchers have been looking for softer options to deal with it.
Finding a way
Countries around the world have been working the last century with cannabis and researching on how it works or affects the human body.
Thankfully, in this path some scenarios have changed for good: some countries have approved marijuana for medical and even recreational use, The World Health Organization has updated their protocol and doesn’t consider marijuana as a drug, and every day around the world there are scientists working on discovering a little more of this multipurpose plant.
These findings support the benefits of using marijuana, of course, with some limits but always as an alternative and safer way to deal with diseases.
On this way to look for other options to alleviate chronic pain, according to a US research published in 2008, the most compelling evidence for the effectiveness of marijuana is in the relief of pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
Also in these results, researchers point out the problem of the prohibition surrounding the medicinal use of marijuana and its components; the associated stigma means a considerable barrier to research and development. This could make us think that legalizing it not only will eliminate the negative social side effects of marijuana, it will also encourage scientists to develop a better method to heal pain based not only in marijuana but a system where therapy and exercises enhance the human body.
Looking for other options to deal with pain, another research made in 2016 jointly between researchers of the US and Israel shows studies were done with 308 patients with different kind of chronic pain with a lot of positive results: the pain symptom score was improved in 65.9% of patients.
A lot of researches also suggests that, for patients who haven’t responded to opioid treatments, cannabis may be perceived as a safer strategy.
Some other researches show that the benefits of pain management helped by marijuana also include: reduction opioid use, improved quality of life, fewer migraine episodes, fewer medication side effects because it also led to participants using fewer medications.
Present and future
If you’re already using cannabis for relieving pain, probably you should take notes on the kind of marijuana you consume, doses and how you feel after some hours, these small steps help experts to develop better treatments.
Recently, marijuana has become a popular alternative to traditional pain-relieving medications it’s also because this decade has achieved several breakthroughs regarding the use of marijuana to relieve various types of pain, researches have led to creating products for specific pains, for example, a US company created tampons whose main component is cannabis oil to reduce menstrual pain, unthinkable 100 years ago, right?
It’s also true that some other research are inconclusive regarding to the possible effect of marijuana in chronic pain, it’s clear that more research needs to be done to discover the main effects or possible harms of marijuana in human body.
Will opioids be replaced? Probably not in the short time, however, there are lot of indications that cannabis could be not just a replacement but a completely new tool to deal with diseases and different health conditions.
In the future, probably science will find what kind or doses of cannabis reduce different kind of pain or diseases and even reach to the point to discover which one is more effective with factors such as: age, location or lifestyle. In the meantime, humankind needs to understand that alternative therapies are better and even healthier than consuming big doses of opioids.