How and Why Cannabis Stops Pain

Pain is a signal to your nervous system that something may be wrong. It can be a tingle, sting, burn or ache. It can be sharp or dull. There are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain lets you know that you may have been injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Acute pain typically goes away with treatment of the root of the problem. Chronic pain is different. It usually lasts more than 12 weeks and can last for months or even years. It may be there because of an infection, cancer or an injury, or in some cases there may be no clear cause. Chronic pain isn’t always curable but treatments can help. In this blog, we’re going to focus on medical cannabis as a treatment and how and why it works.


Chronic pain can be an extremely impairing condition. For people who live with chronic pain on a daily basis, it can alter their mood, overall health and well-being. Back pain is one of most common types of chronic pain. Because chronic pain is so debilitating, there can be other problems associated with it such as sleeplessness, diminished appetite, depression, irritability and fatigue.


Medical cannabis is shown to reduce chronic pain and inflammation when used alone and in conjunction with other traditional treatments. Clinical research shows that medical cannabis is a more effective and safer alternative than opioid medications that frequently result in abuse and addiction.


The reasons that medical cannabis benefits chronic pain as well as many different illnesses and medical conditions, is the fact that some of the active pharmacological components of the cannabis plant imitate an internal chemical harm reduction system in the human body that keeps our health in balance. This is called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Three main components of the ECS are: Cannabinoid receptors, Endocannabinoids and Metabolic enzymes. Cannabinoid receptors transmit information to any changing conditions and kick start the appropriate cellular response. Endocannabinoids are chemicals our body produces. These endocannabinoids keep our biological functions in balance such as our immune system, pain, sleep, appetite and more. When something gets out of balance, endocannabinoids get to work to fix the imbalance. Metabolic enzymes break down endocannabinoids after they are used. Cannabinoids appear to bind to the receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which supplements the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids, thereby improving the physiological response. These cannabinoids help the body manage crises and restore itself after trauma when the body’s endocannabinoids are not able to restore balance alone.


THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in cannabis plants that would be considered medicinal or recreational quality. THC is the cannabinoid that produces the psychoactive effect associated with cannabis.


CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in cannabis plants that would be considered medicinal or hemp quality. Cannabis high in CBD does not produce an intoxicating effect, which means it’s unattractive for recreational consumers. Because of its medicinal qualities CBD remains in high demand among medicinal users.


These combinations of cannabinoids provide many benefits to the body with the correct combination. These include stimulating bone growth, easing pain and nausea, protecting damaged brain cells, killing certain kinds of cancer cells, preventing seizure, protecting the brain from damaging effects of Alzheimer’s, controlling muscle spasms, killing viruses and bacteria. THC and CBD show a powerful effect when used together. Patients tend to report more symptom relief when these cannabinoids are taken together. Also, CBD appears to temper the intoxicating effects of THC so patients can enjoy its therapeutic qualities without the more pronounced psychological effects.


While medical cannabis can benefit a variety of illnesses and diseases, it’s important to note the complexity of the plant. There’s hundreds of different strains which means finding the right dosage and components is important in order for you to maximize the health benefits.


If you’re interested in learning more about medical cannabis, follow our blog for updates and industry news. For more information about cannabis and chronic pain click here.


What Cannabis Actually Does to Your Brain and Body



People all over the world use cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, however, do you ever wonder what cannabis actually does to the body and brain? In this blog, we’re taking a look at this popular drug, it’s health effects on the body and brain, and any potential concerns about it.


While cannabis has been used for centuries as a medicine and drug, there’s not much medical information on the health effects of using it. This is due to there being essentially no controlled studies on it because of the way it is classified by the federal government. The DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3, 4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.” Because of this classification, in order to do clinical research on cannabis you would need a license from the DEA, your study approved by the FDA and to obtain the researched-grade cannabis, you’d have to go through the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Based on this process, it has proved problematic for researches to study the potential medical benefits of cannabis.


That being said, here is what we do know about cannabis and how it effects our brain and body:


1. Cannabinoid Receptors


Compounds in cannabis interact with our brain cells which contribute both a psychoactive and therapeutic effect. Different cannabinoids have different pharmacological effects.


The primary psychoactive in cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and has a psychoactive effect because of the way it engages with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It is known that these receptors are located in the central nervous system which control: pain, pleasure, motor function, memory, mood, appetite.


The second most popular cannabinoid is CBD (cannabidiol) which can have a therapeutic effect. CBD does not directly interact with the two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), instead, it affects signaling through CB1 and CB2 receptors indirectly. This partly explains why, in contrast to THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. Because of its medicinal qualities, CBD remains in high demand among medicinal users.


CBD is especially effective at clearing glutamate, a toxic chemical that accumulates following traumatic brain injury. These cannabinoids used together or separately, have also shown consistent effectiveness to protect nerve cells damaged by MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, stimulating bone growth, easing pain and nausea, killing certain kinds of cancer cells, preventing seizure, controlling muscle spasms, and killing viruses and bacteria.


2. Memory


THC appears to impair short term memory in two significant ways. The first being difficulty forming new memories while under the influence. The second being difficultly recalling events while under the influence and sometimes after the high wears off. The good news is that in most cannabis users, these two memory impairments are temporary and wear off around 24 to 48 hours.


In addition, cannabis may potentially fight bad memories. Preclinical research shows that THC and CBD can “disrupt the reconsolidation of negative memories“. Veterans regularly complain that pharmaceutical treatments prescribed to them by doctors, such as the highly addictive anti-anxiety medications Xanax and Valium, don’t work well and sometimes worsen symptoms.


3. Concentration and Attention


Cannabis can impair some attention and concentration for light users. However, it doesn’t appear to affect heavy users concentration within 6 hours of using it. Researchers have found that after 3 weeks since last using cannabis, attention in users returns to normal. In other studies, no concentration or attention deficiencies were found at all for subjects who were abstinent for a month to a year.


For more information on medical cannabis and the health benefits it provides, follow our blog or contact us for more information.


Recommend Cannabis Before Prescription Drugs


Due to a confluence of legal and cultural factors, healthcare professionals generally recommend cannabis as last resort; considered only when other treatments have been unsuccessful. This attitude persists even though extensive data shows that cannabis provides safe and effective symptom relief with minimal side effects. The avoidance of this treatment, in favor of one with the opposite attributes is hard to justify in its own right. In the midst of a harrowing drug overdose epidemic, on track to claim over 50,000 lives this year, the practice becomes an abomination. Doctors must be allowed to offer cannabis as a front-line treatment, instead of leaving it for desperate situations.




America is highly medicated. Seven of every ten Americans take a prescription drug and fifty percent of Americans take at least 2. Many of these drugs cure or prevent the progression of disease; like antibiotics and blood thinners. However, other popular classes of drugs alleviate symptoms; like pain relievers, sleep aids, anti-anxiety/depression medicine, and anti-emetics. While the latter classes of drugs are absolutely essential, they also present substantial risks. Narcotic pain relievers and anti-anxiety cause addiction and dependance, and contribute to a large percentage of overdose deaths. Others cause side effect that disrupt a patient’s quality of life to varying degrees..


Cannabis is objectively safer than the vast majority of pharmaceuticals, be they curative or palliative. The risk of overdose from cannabis is non-existent while risk of addiction or other side effects are minimal, even less so under the supervision of a doctor. Formulations can be obtained that have no intoxicating effect whatsoever. Further, it works. Peer reviewed research indicates that cannabis can treat some forms of pain, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, spasm, and seizure.


If we can recognize the problem: the over-consumption of pharmaceutical drugs which has lead to a nationwide epidemic of addiction and overdose; and have at our disposal a means to address this problem: a safe, effective, plant-based alternative with minimal side effects; we should take the logical next step: encourage the medical community recommend cannabis before they prescribe riskier pharmaceuticals.


This is admittedly only an option for doctors in states with an active medical cannabis program. However, some of the the country’s most prominent states have these programs. If attitudes in these states begin to shift we may see the federal change required for a broader evolution in opinion.


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