Medical Marijuana Reduces Severe Chronic Pain: Effectiveness and Side Effects

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On Tuesday July 9, Hawaii decriminalized marijuana, making it the 26th state to decriminalize or legalize the drug.


Medical marijuana has been decriminalized in more than half of the state in the US, though it’s still illegal at federal level.


Ever wondered why more and more states decriminalize marijuana or medical marijuana? You should ask those who are suffering chronic pain. Research has shown that marijuana performs better than OTC drugs on pain relief.


The new law in Hawaii allows people to possess up to 3 grams of cannabis with no danger of jail time but $130 fine. Repeat offenses and possession of larger amounts can still result in more severe sentences.


This is good news for people who suffer from severe chronic pain and cannot get help with OTC treatments. It offers them a new alternative for the pain that influences their normal life.




How cannabis relieves different types of pain?


Pain can be triggered by a variety of reasons. But generally, there are three categories of pain.


Nociceptive pain


Nociceptive pain results from tissue damage. It usually happens when you get injured because the immune cells release some proteins and chemicals, which can lead to pains, to repair the damage.


Neuropathic pain


Neuropathic pain is a common kind of pain which affects 7-10% of the population and can result from forceful injury, pinching, stabbing or disease that damages nerves. Chemotherapy is also a common cause of neuropathic pain because it destructs different types of cells in the body.



Central pain


Central pain emerged as a catch-all term for types of pain that arise from dysfunction to the nervous system. Central pain usually arises in the absence of any known cause, which makes it particularly hard to treat.


Why cannabis works


The reason medical marijuana works is due to two substances it contains for pain relieving: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (YHC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC can make you high, while CBD doesn’t have mind-altering effects.


Medical marijuana can be taken by smoking the leaves, taking a pill or liquid, or having it baked with foods. Dosage, side effects, and the way to use vary with the way of taking.


The chemicals can connect with specific parts of cells called receptors to reduce the pain. However, detailed process of how the drug affects isn’t clear yet.


You can’t use medical marijuana freely as you want. Diseases you can use it to treat include Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, seizures, hepatitis C, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and severe nausea.



What are the side effects?


The side effects of cannabis include

Lung disease (when smoked)

Cardiovascular disease

Injuries while working or driving high

Long-term effects on the brain


While cannabis is moderately effective for chronic pain, it cannot help with pain like sunburn or post-surgery, and may even make it worse.


For some people, cannabis actually increases their sensitivity to acute pain, according to experts.


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5 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
What strength do I need for Osteoarthritisis have it everywhere.Its bad in both knees ,my back and one ankle/ heal. It doesnt help me so far. Maybe I need a lot stronger caps. How long does it take to work.????
She already had a weak kidney is what i believe she is saying. Then when she took nsaid it finished the job. She is reccomending you see a doctor before making the same mistake.
Cindy, I went off of Tramidol a little more than a year. I also went off alcohol. I am okay with that but now the MD has said my kidneys are not working correctly. I am only allowed to take Ibprofen with some lesser meds. I think over the few years before this I took Relafen and I think that's is what damaged my kidneys and also the Tramidol. Beer didn't help much. I take Cannibus honey and Cbd drops or sometimes gummies or hard candy. I am 64 and a little nervous about this new disorder. I will tough it out the rest of my life. I have osteoarthritis and my SI joints, vetebrae, and arthritis through my whole body even in my ribs, neck and all the way down. I wish I could give a jar of this honey. It is good for pain, sleep, anxiety and nausea and many other things. Good luck to you and may God Bless you.♥
Don’t jump into scoliosis surgery until you have thoroughly researched what your back May look like in 20 years. I had my first double Herrington surgery when I was 15 years old. I had 5 other spine operations and all went well until 1998 when I had my 7th spine operation lasting 14 hours. When I woke up from recovery I KNEW something was terribly wrong. It is now 21 years later and I have been completely bedridden for the last 11 years! My terrible 24/7 pain had been adequately managed with OxyContin for 17 years without ever having to increase my disease. However, the ‘Opioid Crisis’ have made laws that required Doctors to remove their patients from all pain meds except for OTC meds. I am now at the point of wanting to go ahead and step off the planet for good.
There is a CBD pen, looks like a e cigarette, it does have varied strengths of thc in it this works very well and easy to use.
Opioid Crisis is another passion of the buck because they can’t stop people from self medicating with street drugs as they get called. I’m also at the end of my rope after breakdown of spinal fusion 12, 1 & 2. Left knee replaced 10 years ago is now hurting again as well as right one. Ankylosing Spondylitis, severe spinal stenosis & joint break down have me fed up. I nearly died from all of the nsaids & other junk rather than the real pain medication of dilaudid. Morphine not tolerated & caused vomiting & abdominal pain. I gave up patch voluntarily because it wasn’t worth the effort, then without me looking he cut my minimal dose oxycodone without Tylenol to an even lower dose! If we let our animals suffer like we are forced to suffer, we would definitely be fined & maybe jailed! Our meager relief no longer relieving much of anything. I’m hoping to eventually try the edibles as I’ve heard that they affect a person differently & pleasantly. Adult should be allowed to ingest anything they want! If you are educated in your drugs of choice & maintain your life as a responsible person, the decision must be yours! If you overdose, it’s on you! If you got some relief & finally smiled, great! We shouldn’t be made to suffer while they write bs scripts to look like they are treating us with compassion! They are merely putting pen to pad & getting paid for your monthly visits & for the useless scripts they write. I’m sick of it. If we ever get fully legalized I hope to try the edibles. The pain is killing me & no energy ever! I see why people use “illegal” drugs they work!!! Pain relief & stimulants as needed or desired. What? We might die;) ??? I’m going to from the years of pain & just growing older, so what’s the down side. As I said, be responsible & private with your practices. I going out of this world as comfortably as possible. I also cannot tolerate any more surgeries. A jerk intubate me with a size 8 endotracheal tube & injured my trachea. He did this on at least 3 surgeries & the last one caused my trachea to spontaneously to collapse like the neck of a ballon & I was seconds from dead! In horror I as my lungs & brain felt like they were exploding from inability to breath, I grabbed an inhaler & sprayed it at the back of my throat & the moisture from the spray must have caused the laryngospasm to stop & the stuck together tissue finally peeled slightly apart enough to let me get air & avoid certain death! Now I’m taking an active role in what I will or will not take as well as what I will allow to be done for my body & bones. I’m tired of being miserable & withdrawing because of mobility difficulties due to grinding bone joints & deformity. Name them what you will, if it hurts it doesn’t matter what name they give it. My heart goes out to all of the people suffering in pain. Oh, check out the side effects of nearly every joke script they write. Liver failure, kidney failure, stroke, contains carcinogens in a hypertension med, & a statin caused multiple dysrhythmias from one pill !  Yet we are told any drugs they aren’t on board with will kill us. Drink enough water & you could die of water intoxication! Stay true to yourself. May we all get relief of our pain & stop being left to live a nightmare until we are dead.
I love you and thank you for speaking my exact mind, I'm suffering now wishing I had a tiny amount of Mary Jane. Its to sad. And yes we I die every day without the money or the dr to provide real working pain relief I suffer in all ways. I'm so sick of it. So thank you.
I just had my 2nd herringtonrod implant that makes 2 herringtonrods to keep my spine straight and I am still bent forward and the pain, even with my oxycodone, lyrica, and neurontin is un-manageable. I cant do medicinal because if I test positive for it they'll take my oxy away. Even though I tell the doctor it helps. Does CBD really work? Also how did you end up bedridden? I tried taking my life 2yrs ago to the day because of my pain, no doctor understands any of us chronic pain sufferers, it's sad. Then they wanna take away our pain meds because they think everyone abuses it now! Such bullshit! I had a pain specialist leave me high and dry a few months ago when he decided to not prescribe narcotics anymore when he had me on 6 30mg oxy a day gave me my last one month supply and adios. I was seeing him since 2015. I told him I'd never find a doctor in 30 days to prescribe me the same dose and he says yes I know good luck..I couldn't believe it.  Anyhow my pain is worse now than ever. My rod was put in Nov.2018 a few months ago. I've had 13 back surgeries total due to D.D.D And scoliosis also have fibromyalgia and arthritis throughout my entire body.  I love to be hugged, but it hurts too much now. I'll be  53 this week and my quality of life sucks! Thank you for sharing.  God bless you!
I have arthritis in the pelvis and nothing much they can do for it. looking for anything to ease the constant pain. Use CBD but doesn't get rid of it.
Hi did you take any medications before CBD? is this your first choice? I suggest you to try NDSAIDs such as celecoxib, arcoxia etc. In addition, avoid of recurent posture of bending and bearing heavy things in your daily life to prevent it to get worse. Furthermore, if you are overweight, to lose weight is also a basic treatment method.
According to researchers from University of Massachusetts, cannabis-related poison control calls involving the commonwealth's children and teenagers doubled after medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts.

The researchers reviewed the data of Regional Center for Poison Control and Prevention at Boston Children's Hospital from 2009 through 2016, four years before and four years after medical marijuana was legalized.

It turned out that calls for single-substance cannabis exposure increased 140%, nearly 80% of the calls came from healthcare facilities. Over a quarter of the cases were unintentional, with 19.4% of calls involving children from infancy through age 4.

However, the proportion of teens using marijuana is about the same, which means teens may not be aware of the potentially potent effects of edibles and concentrated extracts.

It is suggested to strengthen regulations to prevent unintentional exposure among young children and teens, with particular attention to edible cannabis products and concentrated extracts.
Indica is the best for pain, Sativa actually makes pain feel worse, I don’t know if the pain gets worse or it’s perceived to feel worse. I have experienced pain in many different forms for different health problems. I found vaping for me gets best results than edibles , lotions ,etc. I have gotten best results from CBD when it contains a little THC and other cannabinoids. The problem though with CBD is that it because legal before proper research from FDA was preformed, as is done with other drugs. So now there is no government regulation of quality, manufacturing or anything in production and sale of CBD products, causing a flood of CBD products manufactured around the world. The charge is expensive as CBD’s of high quality which initially came to market in states where marijuana was legalized but a majority of the products sold at convenience stores or online are junk and with no FDA regulation, it’s up to you to do your research. The pot stores are your best bet as all there products are checked and overseen by state regulations. This does not assure the level of quality of canabioids being sold is a proper dosage to help with medical conditions.
can you get high from cbd? to my knowledge it is simply pressed oil from industrial hemp. but ive seen people mentioned getting high from it.
Most of people answering do not have correct information about NSAID and Tylenol. Regular use of Tylenol can and has destroyed the livers. Leaving only a transplant for treatment. That's why they were made to lower maximum dosage. NSAIDs also is very hard on your liver. Every drug you take goes through your liver. It's like your bodies filter. However many drugs are eliminated through your urine. That's how it effect your kidneys. When they don't work correctly you can't eliminate the drug. Therefore the drug increases with each dose in the body because it's not eliminated. Now weed, pot whatever you call it was used for tuberculosis patients when they were sent to asylums for treatment. The ones that used it had a higher success rate of recovery because they would eat and were stronger to fight the illness. People with muscle problems would use it and within 30seconds the muscles start relaxing. It works for anxiety disorder and depression. There are strains that works on many different types of pain. It works on many many many illnesses. But you get those who have never used it saying it don't work and on and on. The pharmaceutical companies are the ones fighting this. They can't make it a pill because they can't pull out all the different substances within the different strains. Many people would not need their opiates or they would be greatly reduced. Psych meds would decrease. And so on. The pharmaceutical companies pay big bucks to try to keep it from being leagalized. And as far as getting high you can still function quite well. I would greatly drive with someone who smoked over a drunk driver. Those that aren't motivated smoking wouldn't be motivated anyway. A study was done on a drivers response time, who had smoked, to different situations and there was no delay or it was very minimal on their response time. It is not a gait way drug. Those people would turn into junkies anyway. The government years ago wanted a study done on pot to prove it was bad for people Before the depression. When it came back with many many many benefits and they couldn't find much negativity with usage, the government order that it could never be studied again. So the movie  propaganda refer madness was made. Those that are really messed up with smoking pot are also high on something else. The pharmaceutical companies would lose millions and the drug trafficking would be gone concerning pot. The states would make good money to fix roads and bridges and so on. We don't need all the chemicals in pills that are needing another pill to stop ill effects from first pill. Every pill you take potentially causes harm soom where else in your body.  There's a web site that tells you what strains are good for what problems you have. You do not hallucinate smoking pot. But yet they say it. Talk to people who smoke for medical or recreational. No different than a drink at the end of the day to relax.
Some people find it hard to pee after getting high and that causes UTIs. Is that true? That's what I learned from a TV series.
Well said, thank you.

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Drop Mic! I'll have to share this with some of my peeps. I was on pain meds  for 10 years, including high doses of fentanyl. It got bad. I'm on disability now. Taking those meds actually caused me to over do it so therefore injuring myself severely over time. The meds began having a rebound effect and became pain inducing. I've spent the last few years 'detoxing' which included max doses of Tylenol & Ibuprofen AND medical MJ. I had some type of allergic reaction to a bug bite and ended up in the hospital for three days because my liver is shot from OTC meds. My enzymes have always been normal till now. Gotta see a specialist tomorrow... with my vape pen and a good hybrid fully-loaded cartridge! THC & CBD has been the one true medicine hero in my story. I am a lifetime smoker. I've NEVER heard of ANYONE overdose...over-do...sure. But weed checks you or you fall asleep. Now I order the strength, strain and use it for symptoms I experience which vary i.e. for pain , sleep, depression, anxiety, tremors, or even something tailored to treat 3 or more symptoms at the same time. I even grew my own Blue Dream organic, indoors in Alaska. It wad a great Christmas experience. I learned a lot and have researched this medicine and have complete faith that MJ is here to stay!
Didn't mean to type Christmas in my comment. Have no clue how it snuck in. LoL. Aye aye aye!
I have Multiple Sclerosis. Médical Marijuana has replaced narcotic pain medicines for me. It has also replaced anxiety meds for me. My chronic, from back injuries, is now managed with Médical Marijuana. It also adresses nausea, PTSD from an attack I survived, by a serial rapist and shooter. Thank you Oklahoma for making It légal. All my docs agréé. Médical Marijuana is a miracle for me.
I feel happy for you Patsy. Hope all can have benefits from medical marijuana.