Cannabis has been used as a pain reliever (pain reliever) for thousands of years. Despite its rich medical history, it is only within the past 3 decades that the mechanisms of relief from cannabis have been better understood.
Cannabis contains about 100 molecular compounds known as cannabinoids that interface with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) upon consumption. These interactions produce recreational and pharmacological effects. While high-quality research on the relationship between marijuana and ECS remains lacking, existing evidence supports the use of cannabis to treat a number of conditions, including pain.
Cannabis contains ECS to reduce pain
The ECS is a neuro-modulatory system that permeates almost every major organ system. It contains cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.
The ECS plays an important role in many bodily functions, including the regulation of pain sensation. Signaling through CB1 and CB2, the two main cannabinoid receptors in the EC, assist in processing pain, including in acute pain states. The frontal-limbic brain circuit contains a concentration of CB1 receptors responsible for processing affective and emotional pain. CB2 receptors are prevalent in immune cells and play a role in processing inflammatory pain.
THC, the most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana, has a strong binding affinity for CB1 and CB2. This means that it interacts with receptors that affect normal pain processing. While evidence suggests that these interactions lead to beneficial outcomes for pain patients, the psychoactive effects of THC complicate its medical efficacy.
Research supporting cannabis as pain therapy is limited.
Although the lack of well-controlled, randomized clinical trials undermines any certainty that cannabis can treat acute and/or chronic pain, current research suggests that cannabis is beneficial for some pain patients. Might be possible. There are clinical benefits.
A 2016 systematic review of 15 randomized controlled studies found that cannabis was marginally better at reducing pain than a placebo. However, cannabis was more likely to cause an adverse reaction than a placebo. These unclear findings led the researchers to conclude that cannabis should be considered only if patients with pain symptoms are not relieved by 2 prior conventional treatments.
The National Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s comprehensive 2017 literature review on the medical efficacy of cannabis determined that “there is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.” These findings were based on an evaluation of 5 systematic reviews. The report also noted that “little is known about the efficacy, dosage, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.”
Best strains for pain relief
While the research is unclear, most of these cannabis and pain studies have concluded that marijuana has the potential to treat pain. In some cases, studies determine that the potential positives outweigh the risks associated with cannabis use.
The following strains have been shown to be useful for relieving chronic pain. These recommendations are based on anecdotal experiences and have not yet been clinically proven. More research is needed. Please consult your doctor.
OG Shark. This hybrid contains an average of 25 percent THC with negligible CBD content. The Ogee Shark will provide a comfortable body for going out in the evening.
Pink Kush. An indica, pink kush is commonly used at night to reduce anxiety and encourage sleep. With an average of 22 percent THC, the powerful physiological effects of stress make it a frequent choice for patients seeking pain relief.
Sky Walker. With an average of about 15 percent THC, Skywalker is not as potent as strains with higher concentrations of THC. However, it is known to induce a pleasurable relaxation that often leads to sleep.
Master Kush. The highly soothing body part produced by this indica makes it a staple for patients managing anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. Master Kush has an average THC content of 20 percent and is recommended for nighttime use.
Black Tuna. Containing an average of 20 percent THC, this hybrid is known for its powerful sedative effects. Black tuna is recommended for use at night and is used to relieve chronic pain and insomnia.
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