After years of prohibition, cannabis is now becoming more accepted as a therapeutic tool used for treating a wide variety of conditions. With relaxed legal regulation in many jurisdictions, many pain patients who previously found little relief by conventional means have been able to treat their chronic pain with cannabis, whether they use CBD products or full-spectrum cannabis therapies. Pain management is one field where cannabis has proven particularly efficacious, since it can treat both the mental and physical aspects of chronic pain.
However, treating chronic pain with cannabis prescribed through a pain management clinic in Highland Park, IL, isn’t without its own set of challenges. Like any therapy, there are many considerations that must be factored into the treatment equation when using cannabis for pain management. Keep reading to learn more about the top challenges and considerations when using cannabis therapeutically to relief chronic pain.
Treating Chronic Pain
Modern medicine has struggled to develop effective therapies for chronic pain syndrome. Chronic pain isn’t simply pain alone. When patients suffer from chronic pain, it can disrupt their lives significantly. In addition to the grind of living with the physical discomfort stemming from severe injuries, there are also other impacts that can restrict the activities and alter the lifestyle of chronic pain patients. For example, many patients report that chronic pain leads to disruption of typical sleep patterns. That can lead to a degradation of the patient’s professional career due to constant fatigue and changes in relationship dynamics due to exhaustion-induced irritability. Also, some chronic pain sufferers become depressed because of the unrelenting pain that will be with them for the remainder of their lives. Before one can understand how cannabis can be effective in treating chronic pain, one must first understand the whole experience of chronic pain syndrome.
Benefits of Cannabis for Chronic Pain
The cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis have been demonstrated to offer a range of benefits for people who suffer from chronic pain. Whether the patient elects to use specific cannabinoids, such as CBD, or whole-plant cannabis, the impact that the cannabinoid compounds can have on chronic pain sufferers is substantial. First, cannabinoids bind with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which can help interrupt the pain cycle and reduce the level of pain felt by the patient. It can also help to induce sleep, which can eliminate one of the primary negative impacts of chronic pain. Cannabinoids have also been known to have anti-inflammatory effects, which is a cause of magnified pain in many injuries that are at the source of chronic pain. Cannabis can be used to alleviate the symptoms of depression and help patients maintain a positive mindset necessary for healing. The use of cannabis can also prevent reliance on other pharmacological therapies that may have greater side effects. Opiates, which are commonly prescribed to chronic pain patients, have many negative side effects, such as physical and emotional dependence and addiction, a greater risk of cardiovascular episodes, and the potential to damage the kidneys and liver.
Challenges of Using Cannabis for Chronic Pain
Previously, the primary challenge of using cannabis therapeutically was the legal status of the substance. However, with regulations surrounding cannabis becoming decidedly less restrictive, there are other challenges that have come to the forefront. For example, many patients who seek to use cannabis for pain relief resort to unregulated forms of cannabis designed primarily for recreational use rather than therapeutic purposes. That can lead to magnification of unwanted side effects that can adversely affect the lives of patients almost as much as the chronic pain itself. Many street strains are optimized for their psychoactive properties rather than their medical traits, which can cause impairment that can impact job performance and relationships with others. Despite myths to the contrary, there are also some physical and mental dependence that comes with cannabis use, even if it’s of a lesser degree than that experiences by those who use other drugs for pain relief. The challenge for medical practitioners who prescribe cannabis for chronic pain is encouraging the patient to use cannabis from regulated sources and finding the proper strain optimized for chronic pain relief.
If you suffer from chronic pain, cannabis products could provide you with another pain relief option that carries fewer side effects than other common pain medicines. To learn more about the considerations surrounding cannabis used for the treatment of chronic pain, contact Elevele at (847) 780-3942.