By Dr. Singh June 27, 2019
Cannabis for Pain Management
Medical cannabis is an effective analgesic and an increasingly popular option for pain management. The human body naturally generates endocannabinoids that have been found to assist with sleep regulation, immune system responses, and most importantly, pain. It is interesting to note that psychoactive THC activates the same receptors as endocannabinoids.
The public is turning to cannabis as a safer alternative to the other standard pain relievers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioid prescription medications. In fact, opioids are incredibly addictive and when abused, can be fatal. NSAIDs can cause long term risks such as increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Cannabis sativa and its constituents, however, are considered safe and effective in comparison to their counterparts.
High-THC strains have been found to effectively relieve central and neuropathic pain; when other medications have been ineffective, high-THC strains have been used by cancer, AIDS, and fibromyalgia patients. High-CBD strains with low-THC content are beneficial for those who do not wish for the psychotropic effects of the THC to interfere with day-to-day activities.
A popular option for effective pain management using cannabis is CBD oil or topical lotions. For those who don’t wish to smoke or have the “high” that comes along with it, CBD oil is a great alternative. Anecdotal evidence shows that CBD for pain effective for various types of pain including various types of nerve pain or back pain such as that caused by ruptured/bulging discs, arthritis, osteoporosis, or scoliosis.
If tinctures, lotions, or smoking isn’t for you, there is still the option of edibles or pills. Like any medication though, remember to do your research and consult a professional to find out if medical marijuana treatment is right for your pain management.
Dr. Mandeep Singh is a well established psychiatrist currently employed at Apollo Applied Research and holds the position of Director of wellness programs at Be Well Health Clinic in Toronto. His extensive and broad experience includes E.R/urgent care and outpatient psychiatric care at Trillium Health Partners as well as working with Veterans in Canada and the United States.