Chronic pain is not a disease or disorder on it’s own. It a symptom of other diseases, disorders or injuries. However, it seems to stick around long after the source literally for no apparent reason. For the pain to be considered chronic, it usually must last more than 6 months at any degree of severity.
No matter the cause, the symptoms of chronic pain are pretty similar across the board. They often include anxiety and depression, fatigue and poor sleep, including insomnia. Patients often suffer from job loss and disruptions in other areas of their life too due to the chronic pain.
Causes of Chronic Pain
Half of the time chronic pain has an obvious cause like maybe you have cancer or rheumatoid arthritis. Maybe you slipped and fell or had a different type of back injury that left you more sensitive to pain than ever before. These things can stay in place long after you’ve healed. A sprain or a broken bone, even an infection can lead to lifelong or chronic pain.
Other patients have chronic pain that’s not tied to an injury or physical illness. Healthcare providers call this “psychogenic pain” or “psychosomatic pain”. It’s caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety and depression. This may look like the disease fibromyalgia. Scientists think this connection comes from low levels of endorphins in the blood. Endorphins are the natural chemicals that trigger positive feelings.
It’s definitely plausible to have several causes of pain that overlap. You could have two different diseases, for example, plus an injury. Or you could have something like migraines and psychogenic pain together.
Chronic pain varies widely in how it affects patients. It’s usually a lifelong ordeal but can be treated effectively so that patients can still live fulfilling lives.
Medical Marijuana and Chronic Pain
Chronic pain cannot be cured but medical marijuana eases symptoms to give patients a better quality of life. MM is widely known and proven to help relieve pain. Additionally:
- The results of an online survey, comprising 95 participants, featured in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2014.
- Another study examined the use of organically grown sativa and indica strains in the treatment of several medical conditions.
- A 2015 review of research on the use of marijuana and cannabinoids for various chronic pain conditions reports that several trials had positive results.
- A research paper from 2016 found that marijuana use for cancer pain led to a 64-percent reduction in opioid use, improved quality of life, and caused fewer medication side effects.
- Of about 17,000 people with cancer, 70 percent reportedly experienced an improvement in pain and general well-being after marijuana use.
- People with chronic migraines experienced a decrease in migraine episodes after using the drug.
Marijuana strains that help with chronic pain:
- Master Kush: This indica-dominant strain relieves anxiety while giving you full body relaxation for a good nights sleep.
- ACDC: This hybrid strain is CBD dominant, making it excellent for those who need relief on their way to work.
- Blueberry Headband: This sativa is energizing and helps most with patients who have fatigue as well as pain.
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