According to studies, 80 percent of the people who use medical cannabis prefer it over prescribed pain medications. Majority of them report that cannabis helps them a lot to reduce their pain.
However, with so much going around about cannabis legalisation and de criminalisation, there are mixed reviews about its effectiveness as a pain reliever.
According to medical practitioner St. Pierre, pain is a subjective experience and depends on our psychological and mental strength. It is hard hard to make statements about effectiveness of cannabis over it. You can have two people with same injury but having different experiences and tolerance of that pain. Cannabis has a tendency to bring some improvements in mood and sleep thereby making pain less unpleasant.
However, many studies show that cannabis has only moderate effect over chronic pain and even might not work for acute pains such as post-surgery or sunburns. Under a placebo study, people reported decrease in their pain which indicates that it might just be providing psychological satisfaction.
Cannabis may not work for everyone and people should understand how to deal with it. They must be aware about the side effects involved. This includes lung diseases, heart diseases and long-term effects on the brain.
Cannabis contains medically useful compounds- THC, that makes people ‘high’ and psycho inactive cannabidiol (CBD). THC relieves pain by disrupting signals in those parts of the brain that process emotions and sensory signals. Alternatively, CBD binds with the receptors present in the brain responsible for anxiety and pain.
On the other hand, pain medicines block pain messages sent from the body to the brain by getting attached to the receptors throughout the body.
Studies in which CBD was given to rats for seven days, they had lower levels of pain and anxiety. However, there’s no sufficient amount of research done over humans to know if CBD works the same way on them.
Marijuana have different strains – Ones that are used for medicinal purpose and others for recreational purpose. Doctors are concerned about the people self treating their pain with cannabis without any medical guidance. They tend to use those variants of marijuana that are used for recreational purposes (and are addictive) instead of the medicinal ones that have analgesic or pain relieving properties.