There is no doubt that there is a large amount of research showing the various positives surrounding the cannabis plant. With a large amount of medical studies currently being conducted, marijuana has been praised from a high level for its potential in everything from pain management to cancer treatment. Many users have been turning to cannabis to help deal with large amounts of pain, and the results are quite shocking.
Dr. Mark Ware has been studying the effects of cannabis on pain management for quite some time and believes that it could become one of the largest combatants of the opioid epidemic that the U.S. is currently facing. Ware states that in regard to their use when compared to opiates “The active ingredients in cannabis, THC, cannabidiol, really don’t appear to be good in acute pain settings. Where they do appear to play an important role is in chronic pain. When someone’s had pain for more than six months, there are some important changes in their spinal cord, in their brains. Receptors for cannabinoid molecules start to increase in number, and this makes people, we think, more responsive to potentially the analgesic effects of cannabinoids with chronic pain, and, in particular, pain which is caused by nerve injury — neuropathic pain.”
This type of research is still being conducted, but marijuana has shown that it can be a very solid treatment in many of the ways that opiates cannot. Additionally, cannabis has a low and almost non-existent amount of side effects depending on the individual, which cannot be said for its opiate counterpart. One of the newest ways to get pain relief from cannabis comes from the form of vaping. Ware states that it is “a very interesting technology that heats the plant to a temperature where the cannabinoid oils come off in a gas form but doesn’t burn the plant material and therefore have some of the nasty side effects of inhaling burnt smoke. And then, of course, there are oral administrations, so especially here in Canada where our legal industry is producing oils where they extract the cannabinoids from the plant into an oil base, and that can be taken in food or under the tongue.” The oils that Ware is referring to have become a large part of the industry as well, and have become one of the main choices for those looking for pain management in the marijuana field.
Ware goes on to state that doctors need to be looking into ways that they can treat their patients using cannabis since it has shown itself to be such an effective treatment for so many different ailments. One of the issues with prescribing cannabis, however, is the fact that not only do doses of the psychoactive components vary, but these components affect every person differently depending on a whole variety of factors. Because of this, it can often be difficult to gauge how much of the substance a user is taking, and thus difficult to find an appropriate dose. This is quickly changing however with the new world of edibles and oils, where the doses are becoming much more accurate and exact.
Marijuana has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for many different ailments that we come into contact with every day. New research is continuing to be done on how cannabis can help to treat all types of diseases and pain types, but for now, this research is still largely underway. The hopes are high that the future of cannabis will include new and accurate ways to use the substance for a wide range of medical conditions.