If you are a chronic pain sufferer, it’s likely that you have tried a number of treatments to help alleviate the pain and discomfort you feel on a moment-to-moment basis. The good news is that there is no shortage of options for dealing with chronic pain. The bad news is that many of those options come with a laundry list of side effects that can do more harm than good.
Chronic pain sufferers are often heard saying that the risks associated with traditional treatments outweigh the benefits. Everything from weight gain to hair loss to rashes to cancer can be caused by pharmaceutical drugs meant to help keep your pain at bay.
Thankfully, you live in a time when people are once again open to what is possible and the Internet has been wide cast on the alternative treatment options for chronic pain. Have you tried cannabis to manage your chronic pain?
Regardless of what you may think of the practice of smoking weed, there are many benefits to using CBD oils and cannabis derivatives to manage your chronic pain. To help you understand the pros and cons of using cannabis to manage your chronic pain, we’ve put together this short guide.
What is Cannabis?
Let’s start with the basics. Cannabis is a common term for the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is a hemp-based plant that has garnered quite a reputation over the years as being a stoner’s drug.
In more recent years, it has become legal to use in small amounts across North America and in some countries in Europe and abroad. In short, cannabis is used in three main forms: buds from the plant are crushed and smoked; oils are extracted and used in a variety of devices, and hashish is derived from the resin of the buds of the plant.
While many early adopters of medical cannabis were smoking the crushed bud plants in joints, these days, recreational users and chronic pain sufferers alike are turning to CBD oil to get the maximum benefits without the side effects.
What are the Risks of Using Cannabis for Chronic Pain?
The first question many people ask about cannabis use is related to the risks or side effects. The biggest risk of using cannabis comes when you don’t know the source of the cannabis or CBD oil product you are using.
Because it is still illegal in many places, people are still turning to street dealers to purchase their cannabis. Even in places where it is legal and you can walk into a store to purchase high-quality cannabis products, some people prefer to buy it from those they know. The problem with non-regulated cannabis products is that the risks of these drugs being laced with other products or chemicals are quite high.
In Canada, for example, there are high frequencies of drugs such as fentanyl showing up in street cannabis. If you plan to use cannabis for your chronic pain, the safest way to do so is to get it from a recognized, licensed, and regulated medical marijuana facility or purchase it from government agencies that have thoroughly vetted the product, growth patterns, and source.
Other than source quality, the risks of using cannabis to manage chronic pain are pretty low. As long as you are using it as directed by your physician and are not self-medicating without instruction, the likelihood of a problem arising is quite low.
Patients with chronic pain worry about “getting high” as a result of using cannabis, so many physicians and naturopathic doctors recommend using CBD oil, which reduces the likelihood of feeling high or being impaired. There are also capsules, food products, and more that can be integrated into your treatment plan to help manage your pain.
What are the Benefits of Using Cannabis?
The list of benefits of using cannabis are lengthy and may vary from person to person. Thankfully, cannabis doesn’t stay in your system for a long period of time and takes no time at all to start working – if it is going to work for you. That means that trying cannabis once or twice will let you know whether or not it’s going to work to manage your chronic pain.
Many patients report feeling instantly better and are able to maintain daily pain-management routines without incident. Others rely on cannabis on an as-needed basis, as is the case with people who suffer from injury-related pain, Arthritis, or pain associated with cancer treatments or other invasive procedures.
The quick-acting nature of cannabis means that the pain and relief are fast-acting and long-lasting. When using CBD oils, patients don’t have to worry about getting high and can carry on with their daily routine as per usual. However, people shouldn’t drive or operate motor vehicles until they know how they are going to react to any new treatment plan, including cannabis.
Because CBD oils don’t come with the distinctive odors of cannabis buds or joints, it is often easy for pain sufferers to fly under the radar and avoid drawing attention to themselves at work. However, it is important to disclose any possible side effects or issues that may arise to your superior in order to ensure you are fully able to do your job and be safe at work.
Other benefits include relaxation and stress relief. With chronic pain comes a myriad of other symptoms and signs that could lead to other problems down the road. Depression and anxiety are common problems for people who live with chronic pain. Weight gain, lack of self-care, and dissociation with their family or friends are all common things that happen to people who are preoccupied with pain.
Cannabis, particularly CBD oil products, can help reduce stress and anxiety and help people take back their lives. Quality of life is greatly improved because of the reduction in pain and anxiety. Sleep is also improved when people turn to cannabis products to manage chronic pain. Because our bodies heal while we sleep, it’s important that pain sufferers have a chance to get the rest they need in order to recoup and be ready for another day ahead.
When it comes to choosing the right pain relief and management system for you, it’s best to talk to your doctor. Having an open mind about what other options may be available, including cannabis and CBD oil-based treatments may be the ticket to freedom for you.
There’s no guarantee that every treatment will work for every patient, but if you are at the end of your treatment options or even if you are just starting out and want to get ahead of the curve, consider what alternative treatment options may provide you as you continue to navigate life with chronic pain.