Chronic Pain and Medical Cannabis
With over 100 years of collective experience in the study and application of medicinal cannabis for treatment of chronic pain, CITIVA’s experts understand the role of medicinal cannabis in clinical healthcare. When used according to medical guidelines derived from quality research, medicinal cannabis is proven to alleviate pain.
What Is Chronic Pain?
When pain lasts more than 12 weeks, it may be described as chronic pain. Chronic pain differs from acute pain. Acute pain is discomfort that does not last as long as chronic pain and primarily serves to make the patient aware of possible injury or illness. Acute pain typically goes away with treatment of the root problem. Chronic pain is difficult to treat and persists for months at a time.
Like acute pain, chronic pain can develop as part of an injury, illness, or a procedure such as surgery. But unlike acute pain, chronic pain lingers and sometimes has no clear genesis at all. Back pain is a common form of chronic pain.
There may be other problems associated with chronic pain beyond physical discomforts, such as sleeplessness, diminished appetite, depression, irritability, and fatigue. People with chronic pain may have trouble moving about freely and can feel rigid, weak, inflexible, and easily tired. Disability and depression can result when chronic pain affects normal lifestyle and daily activities.
What Are the Diseases and Conditions Associated with Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain may indicate other illnesses or conditions, whether undiscovered or under treatment. Some of the following ailments may be the source of chronic pain or may put a patient at risk for experiencing such ongoing discomfort:
- Lower back injury
- Bursitis of the hip or knee
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Pinched or damaged nerves
- Knee injury or problems
- Migraines and headaches
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint)
- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome or cramping
- Cervical spinal pain (neck injury)
- Gout (Arthritic Gout)
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease
- General Arthritis
- Joint pain, such as elbow or ankle
- Burning Mouth Syndrome
- Varied forms and treatments of cancer
Why Include Medical Cannabis to Treat Chronic Pain?
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. For patients who do take opioid medications, medical cannabis helps with associated nausea.
Studies suggest that patients living with chronic pain receive more benefit most from natural cannabinoid products as opposed to synthetic forms. (G. Carter et al. 2004. Medical marijuana: emerging applications for the management of neurologic disorders. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America; L. Growing et al. 1998. Therapeutic use of cannabis: clarifying the debate. Drug and Alcohol Review; A. Zuardi et al. 1982. Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by delta-9-THC in normal subjects. Psychopharmacology 76: 245-250; G. Karinol et al. 1974. Cannabidiol interferes with the effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in man. European Journal of Pharmacology 28: 172-177.)
Some of the secondary benefits of natural cannabinoid therapy for patients living with chronic pain include an increase in appetite that helps offset the nutritional deficiencies caused by reduced and inappropriate food intake, improvement in sleep which greatly affects overall health, and improvement of mood.