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Medical Marijuana and Chronic Pain

Medical Marijuana and Chronic Pain Chronic pain patients deserve a better solution than opiates. Fortunately, medical marijuana can provide effective relief – without adverse side effects.

September is Pain Awareness Month, but almost one in five Ohioans don’t need any reminders since they are aware of their chronic pain every day. According to one national study, 17.6 percent of Americans suffer from chronic pain, defined as pain lasting for three months or more. Among Ohio’s adults, that’s over 1.5 million people who experience excruciating levels of pain on a near-daily basis. More Ohioans suffer from chronic pain than from cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Chronic pain can make even the most simple tasks difficult, causing exhaustion, lack of appetite, nausea, trouble sleeping, and changes in mental health. The aching, throbbing, and shooting pain caused by firing nerve signals – even long after an initial injury has healed – can sideline sufferers, making both work and play difficult to impossible. But for Ohioans living with chronic pain, there is an alternative to the suffering: medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana as a Chronic Pain Solution

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and it’s now available as a chronic pain treatment here in Ohio. Two compounds in medical marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have been found to relieve pain, nausea, and other common symptoms experienced by those living with chronic pain. Research indicates that medical marijuana is particularly effective against neuropathic or nerve pain, caused by damaged nerves sending inaccurate pain messages to the brain. Studies have also shown that medical marijuana can provide relief from chronic migraine pain, non-migraine headaches, joint pain, and spasticity. In doing so, it can have substantial effects on patients’ quality of life.

Medical Marijuana is a Safer Treatment Option

As more and more studies have concluded that medical marijuana can make a significant difference for Americans with chronic pain, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recently issued a report stating that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” of benefit from cannabis for chronic pain treatment. Clinical trials have also linked medical marijuana use to decreased dependence on opioids among chronic pain patients. As Ohio continues to confront the opioid crisis, and the risks of prescription opioid use become increasingly apparent, medical marijuana can provide an alternative route to relief from chronic pain. In a recent survey, 97% of patients self-reported that medical marijuana reduced their reliance on opiate medications, while 81% agreed that cannabis was more effective at reducing their pain than opiates. Though scientists are still working to determine a causal link between medical marijuana and pain reduction, the initial evidence is encouraging. Every patient experiences pain differently, and at Lakewood Medical Clinic, we understand how complex and personal finding the right treatment plan for your chronic pain can be. Reach out to us today and schedule a consultation to learn how medical marijuana can bring you relief from your chronic pain. With safe, responsible access to medical marijuana and the guidance of our caring clinicians, you don’t have to suffer.