Friday, December 29, 2017

Medical Cannabis Benefits: Treating Pain (Neuropathic)

Chronic Pain, classified as pain that persists for longer than three to six months is a common debilitating condition that affects hundreds of millions of people each and every day.

Chronic Pain is also a symptom of over 200 other debilitating health conditions.

The severity of chronic pain varies but extreme cases can be completely incapacitating. Due to how long Chronic Pain can persist, both an emotional and physical toll is taken on the sufferer. Common causes and examples of chronic pain include but are not limited to: headaches; joint pain (arthritis); pain from injuries or accidents; back pain resulting from complications of the spine; tendonitis; carpal tunnel syndrome; pain caused by other ailments or infections; and even some medical therapies and treatments may result in long lasting, substantial pain. Oftentimes anger, anxiety, and depression accompany Chronic Pain.

Neuropathic pain is characterized as a pain state caused in the sufferer’s nervous system. With this condition, an individual’s nerves may be damaged, dysfunctional, or separated completely. Causes and examples of Neuropathic Pain include but are not limited to: alcoholism, amputation and the resulting phantom limb syndrome, skeletal and muscular problems (pinched nerves), chemotherapy, diabetes, genetics, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, shingles, spinal injury, and even surgery.

Using Cannabis to Treat Neuropathic Pain

Cannabis is a complex medicinal plant that may actually be used to treat a variety of debilitating symptoms caused by a surprisingly large number of ailments. Its usefulness as a non-lethal medicine (you cannot die from an overdose of cannabis) cannot be overstated and its versatility in terms of how it can be consumed and as to how it can be useful for so many illnesses is something to be excited about. However, it is important to remember that consulting with your primary care physician should be your first priority when considering incorporating cannabis into one’s medical regiment and that cannabis is to be used as an adjunct therapy and not a replacement. It is also your responsibility to communicate with your doctor as to how your use of cannabis has affected your health and of your progress with utilizing medical cannabis.

With that said, studies have shown that cannabis may be quite useful for treating individuals suffering from Neuropathic Pain for the following reasons: significantly reducing the pain itself; assisting with sleep should the pain cause insomnia; and with dealing with possible depression and or anxiety should the individual suffer from it.

Beneficial Cannabinoids and Terpenoids Useful for Treating Neuropathic Pain

The cannabis plant offers a plethora of therapeutic benefits and contains cannabinoids and terpenoid compounds that are useful for treating pain in general. In fact one study that analyzed both Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) published in a 2008 article in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management states that, “Cannabinoid analgesics have generally been well tolerated in clinical trials with acceptable adverse event profiles. Their adjunctive addition to the pharmacological armamentarium for treatment of pain shows great promise.”

The following chart denotes which cannabinoids and terpenoids work synergistically with each other for possible therapeutic benefit. It may be beneficial to seek out strains that contain these cannabinoids and terpenoids.

End Pain, Not Lives

Americans for Safe Access, the U.S. Pain Foundation, and many others have launched a new campaign to address the opioid epidemic.

The Opioid Epidemic in the US is claiming 91 American lives a day. Current policies focus on downstream strategies and criminalizing patients and medical professionals. Research shows a nearly 25% decrease of opioid overdose deaths in states with medical cannabis laws. However, medical cannabis is not option for all patients due to the federal-state legal conflict, inadequacies in state laws, and lack of medical professional and patient education.

It is critical that our nation's lawmakers understand and respond to medical cannabis’ potential role in mediating this crisis.

States: Pass new regulations and legislation to make it easier for people with Pain, Chronic Pain, and Opioid Use Disorder and their medical professionals to utilize medical cannabis in their treatment plans

Federal: Leverage cannabis therapies in combating opioid crisis to pass the CARERS Act and other legislation like CJS amendment

Education: Increase education of medical professionals, service providers, and patients

Research: Conduct clinical trials on cannabis and opioids

Chronic Pain Condition-based Booklet

A note from ASA; We are committed to ensuring safe, legal availability of cannabis for medical uses. Today over one million Americans are legally using medical cannabis—or "cannabis," as it is more properly called—under the care of their medical professional, and more than 40% of the nation lives in a state where this treatment is an option.

This publication series is intended to help medical professionals, patients and policymakers better understand how cannabis may be used safely and effectively as a treatment for many medical conditions.

You will find here information about:

Why Cannabis is Legal to Recommend

Overview of the Scientific Research on Medical Cannabis

Cannabis and Chronic Pain

Comparison of Medications: Efficacy and Side-Effects

Why Cannabis is Safe to Recommend

Testimonials of Patients and Doctors

History of Cannabis as Medicine

Scientific and Legal References

While the federal prohibition of cannabis has limited modern clinical research and resulted in considerable misinformation, a scientific consensus on its therapeutic value has emerged, based on a growing body of successful clinical trials and preclinical research. The experience of patients, medical professionals and research has revealed that cannabis can safely treat a remarkably broad range of medical conditions, often more effectively than conventional pharmaceutical drugs. For some of the most difficult to treat conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain, cannabis often works when nothing else does.

Article: "How to Qualify for Medical Cannabis in New Mexico"