Getting Started Using Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain qualifies for medical marijuana West Virginia, and the majority of patients participating in the state program qualify because of this common symptom.
And as one of the most subjective types of medical conditions, chronic pain can be a unique struggle for anyone who is diagnosed with it. Patients considering cannabis for pain may have some of the following questions:
Why should patients think about using medical marijuana for chronic pain?
How does medical marijuana work for chronic pain?
How do you use medical marijuana for chronic pain?
In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more, about using medical marijuana for chronic pain in West Virginia!
Chronic Pain & Cannabis
Cannabis has been used to treat chronic pain for thousands of years. With chronic pain being the number one reason why people seek medical care according to the CDC, many chronic pain patients have turned to medical marijuana as an alternative therapeutic option.
In truth, this is often the way that many people find medical marijuana: as an alternative medicine.
For chronic pain, that means as an alternative to traditionally prescribed medications such as narcotics, opioids, and other forms of analgesic medications.
Though Western medicine views modern medical marijuana as a potential alternative medication, it is probably much better described as a medicine that can treat chronic pain by itself, rather than just an alternative.
Why Cannabis Works for Chronic Pain
When a patient is diagnosed with chronic pain, it can be for any number of reasons including an underlying condition, an unknown condition, no condition aside from pain, and even psychological trauma can result in lasting physical pain.
The key component for chronic pain is that it is chronic, or long-term. It is not expected to go away and requires ongoing treatment to achieve analgesia.
Analgesia is the medical term for “the inability to feel pain”, and cannabis can provide analgesic effects by working on CB1 and CB2 receptors within your endocannabinoid system, both of which play an important role in controlling your pain endogenously.
Cannabis acts like a filter for pain, potentially adjusting your threshold to pain, as well as mitigating the perceived effects of pain, which can reduce the pain that you feel.
How to Use Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain
Because chronic pain is such a subjective experience, each individual patient will need to assess their specific type of pain in order to form a plan for treating it.
For example, some may experience pain at specific intervals, or in specific locations in the body.
Many will have pain only under certain circumstances or in specific situations, such as at nighttime or when waking up, and some patients will have localized pain, central to one area of the body for example.
Others will unfortunately be subject to pain at all times, and the severity of the pain will be taken into account when attempting to create an effective treatment plan.
While no treatment plan will likely work for all individuals, there are some common ways that patients use medical marijuana to effectively treat their chronic pain.
First, you’ll need to address the particular needs of your pain, whether it is a constant experience, or under specific circumstances, and the level of pain you are experiencing. This will help you figure out what types of products you’ll need to look for in order to treat the chronic pain.
Many patients and doctors recommend keeping a pain journal, to better learn the patterns of your pain.
Cannabis Products for Treating Chronic Pain
Once you’ve dialed in to the specifics of your chronic pain, such as the frequency, location, and severity of the pain, you’ll begin to look at medical marijuana products that are used to treat that kind of pain, or similar kinds of pain.
Many chronic pain patients find relief in using a combination of cannabis products to keep their pain at bay.
For example, for someone experiencing chronic pain throughout the day at random intervals, it could be difficult to try to apply one specific product once you’ve begun experiencing the pain, as it could occur at any time, and it would likely be much more efficient and preferable to try and treat it before it arrives.
For others, it might be important to treat localized pain once it begins occurring, and different products are available for patients with many different types of pain, typically coming in both non-psychoactive and psychoactive product types.
Treating Chronic Pain with Non-Psychoactive Cannabis Products
Non-psychoactive variants of cannabis products can play a significant role in treating pain before it even occurs, as they can be taken immediately upon awakening in the morning without any noticeable psychoactive properties that would affect your daily life.
And while concentrations of THC can be important for many with chronic pain, lower dosages or doses similar to a 3:1 CBD:THC ratio can provide excellent relief with minimal to no noticeable psychoactive effects.
Products from dispensaries such as topicals are non-psychoactive and can treat localized pain immediately, such as knee pain, lower back pain, or joint pain.
CBD sprays, oils, and pain patches can also be non-psychoactive, and often work very effectively for different types of chronic pain.
Products With Higher THC for Pain Relief: Edibles, Vaporizers & Smokable Flower
Products like tinctures and consumables such as edibles are typically psychoactive, and are excellent for treating widespread or internal pain, such as arthritis or pain that is associated with underlying conditions.
For pain that comes in random intervals and goes away with time, vaporizers and smokable cannabis flower can offer immediate pain relief, while their psychoactive properties typically only last for a short duration.
Finding the Right Medical Marijuana Product to Treat Your Pain
Many patients do experiment with different products before eventually landing on the right choice for their specific situation, and you may find that while one product is less effective, another product may be more appropriate for your circumstance.
There are a wide variety of cannabis products available for treating chronic pain, and it’s important to note that with a West Virginia medical marijuana certification, you have the freedom to create a cannabis treatment plan that works for you and your specific type of pain.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in West Virginia
Chronic pain is an approved condition for West Virginia medical marijuana certifications and is one of the most common reasons why people use medical marijuana!
Using medical marijuana to treat pain effectively can be a life changing experience; and as an alternative to harmful pharmaceuticals, it can be lifesaving too.
Take the steps to schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!
Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.
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West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
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