Dozens of states have legalized medical marijuana, and in those states, 62% of marijuana users report they use it to relieve chronic pain.
This means a majority of marijuana users are not in it to get doped up but to improve their quality of life. Although some researchers disagree about the effectiveness of marijuana as an analgesic, you can not fault a person for wanting to feel better.
Regardless of the arguments, there is some legitimate science suggesting marijuana has some important benefits. Read more about them below.
1. Blocks Peripheral Nerve Pain
One way that marijuana is effective at treating pain is its ability to block peripheral nerve pain.
The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is one-half of the nervous system in animals with bilateral symmetry (like humans), with the other half being the central nervous system (CNS). The PNS consists of all the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spinal cord, as those parts make up the CNS.
There is a lot of pain that can occur in the PNS. Some animal studies suggest that marijuana helps block pain signals in peripheral nerves. This would be very helpful for treating chronic pain conditions in humans.
2. Works Differently Than Opiates
Opiates are powerful and highly addictive painkillers that the pharmaceutical industry has been relying on far too long to treat pain. Many people are fed up with the side effects and hope that marijuana is the answer.
One good sign for marijuana is that its pain suppressing functions appear to work differently than opiates. The way that it blocks pain works differently. Hopefully, this means the side effects won’t be as severe and the drug won’t be as addictive.
Cannabis may be used in conjunction with opiates in the future. This could help reduce the amont of opiates that a patient needs for pain relief.
Additionally, oncologists have observed that many of the chronic pain issues in cancer patients are resistant to opiate painkillers. Ideally, marijuana would help treat what opiates cannot.
3. Help with Inflammation
There are lots of healthy ingredients that people tout for their anti-inflammatory properties—marijuana may be one of them.
While THC is the most notorious component of marijuana, this psychoactive ingredient may not be the one responsible for its anti-inflammatory nature. Instead, beta-caryophyllene latches onto the CB2 receptor in the body and helps inhibit inflammatory signals.
Considering that there are over 450 different substances in the marijuana plant, scientists still consider it to largely be a mystery.
Using Marijuana for Pain Relief
No matter what the scientists say, no one can deny that marijuana has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Considering the highly addictive drugs with horrible side effects that pass as medicine today, it’s a little dubious to deny that marijuana offers significant benefits.
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