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Does Medical Marijuana Help Back Pain

Are There Alternatives To Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana A Relief For Some Seeking To Manage Pain

Doctors can prescribe two legal alternatives to medical marijuana. They are dronabinol and nabilone . Both of these drugs contain a man-made form of THC, the main chemical in marijuana.

Nabilone is used to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Dronabinol also can relieve this kind of nausea and vomiting. It may also improve the appetite of people who have AIDS. Both of these drugs can be used to relieve pain and spasticity from multiple sclerosis. Both drugs come in pill form.

Talk to your doctor if you think these medicines might help relieve your symptoms.

Find Out How We Can Treat Your Chronic Pain At Spine Institute Of North America

If youve been experiencing pain for some time, you can count on the team at Spine Institute of North America to find a pain management solution that works for you.

If pain is impacting your life and keeping you from doing the things you love, schedule your appointment with one of our highly trained and compassionate physicians. Medical marijuana is just one of the minimally invasive treatments we may recommend, so you can get back to living your life to the fullest.

The Issues Facing Cannabis And Cannabinoids Research

One reason some of the data from clinical trials is insufficient for the IASPs purposes is whats called the placebo rate. Also called the placebo effect, it refers to the rate of participants in a study that see an improvement in their condition even though they received the placebo, not the tested medication or treatment. For drug trials, the placebo rate can be as high as 30% to 40%, says Dr. Scheman. That high rate muddies the results quite a bit.

Another reason why there isnt more research available for cannabis is also an obvious one. While dozens of states have legalized cannabis for medical use, far fewer have legalized it for recreational use. And at the federal level, cannabis is still classified as a controlled substance.

These legal obstacles mean there are far fewer studies available to review than with other potential medical treatments. And even then, Dr. Scheman says, theres a difference between the cannabis that is studied in a laboratory and the cannabis you might buy at a dispensary in one of the states where its legal.

There havent been a lot of studies done, most are of poor quality and they dont give us clear results. What evidence exists from these studies is of low quality, she says. So the IASPs conclusion was that the available evidence neither supports nor refutes the idea cannabis can treat pain. In the end, it may prove to be useful, but right now we dont have that evidence.

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Can Marijuana Be The Answer For Pain

April 20, 2018 — Like many of her friends, Alexandra Callner, now 58, experimented with recreational when she was younger.

“I had tried it, and hated it, in my 20s,” Callner says. “When I was around pot smokers, I thought, ‘Ugh, losers.’ ”

But, that was before her knee arthritis became so bad, it robbed her sleep, night after night. She took two over-the-counter pain pills a day, but the pain would wake her up at night. And the drugs were hard on her stomach.

“It was making me kind of nauseous,” she says of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. Plus, she needed to stay active to manage her dog boarding service in Pasadena, CA.

Then came another solution. “A neighbor said, ‘Try this,’ ” Callner says. It was a joint.

Callner got a medical marijuana card, and then she tried it. âI slept through the night.”

That was a year ago, and it’s now her nightly ritual. “Every night, I get into bed, read about an hour, take one or two puffs, and then I am off to sleep,” she says. “The pain is much lighter.â

About 50 million Americans like Callner live with chronic or severe pain. Patients and doctors are seeking treatments besides the potent prescription painkillers like opioids and the nonprescription medicines that Callner found tough to tolerate.

So could marijuana be the next pain reliever of choice?

Whats The Thinking Behind Using Cannabis For Chronic Pain

Cannabis For Disk and Sciatica Back Pain  The Strain ...

CBD is emerging as a promising pharmaceutical agent to treat pain, inflammation, seizures, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC. Our understanding of the role of CBD in pain management continues to evolve, and evidence from animal studies has shown that CBD exerts its pain-relieving effects through its various interactions and modulation of the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and nociceptive systems. The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors that interact with our own naturally occurring cannabinoids. This system is involved in regulating many functions in the body, including metabolism and appetite, mood and anxiety, and pain perception.

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Medical Marijuana And Its Effect On Chronic Pain

About 50 million Americans — fully 20% of the population — suffer from some level of chronic pain. Thats more than the combined total of everyone with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Its little surprise, then, that use of painkillers can become its own issue, particularly when chronic pain can no longer be suppressed with consumer-strength medications. Long-term use of stronger drugs frequently leads to drug resistance, requiring larger doses to maintain pain reduction, or addiction, frequently an issue with opioid medications.

When theres no effective cure for the underlying cause of pain, there seems to be little alternative to drug use for pain management. There are, however, conservative treatments for chronic pain that dont rely on opioids. One of the alternatives that currently enjoys a high profile is medical marijuana. At Integrated Spine & Pain Care in Farmingdale and Deer Park, New York, Dr. Mikael Sarij and his team of pain management specialists, have helped many patients manage pain and reclaim active lives through the responsible use of medical marijiuana.

Evidence For Medical Marijuana

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued an evidence-based report on medical marijuana. It listed conditions that may be helped by cannabinoids, including neuropathic pain, acute pain, spinal cord injury, post operative pain, cancer pain, multiple sclerosis, nausea and appetite control among others.

The report says that discovery of a cannabinoid receptor in the parts of the nervous system that detect and control pain perception means that marijuana is a very promising source of pain relieving medications in the future.

The IOM found that cannabinoids are capable of giving mild to moderate pain relief comparable to codeine. In one study cited in the report, 10 milligrams of THC yielded the same amount of pain relief as 60 milligrams of codeine. Side effects were similar with both drugs, but the THC seemed to be more sedating than the codeine. The patients taking the THC reported a greater sense of well-being and less anxiety.

The IOM also found that by combining cannabinoids with an opioid, the opioid may work better. This may decrease the dose of addictive narcotics needed to control pain.

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Can Cannabis Kill Pain Without Getting You Stoned

More than 87 percent of medical marijuana users report smoking or ingesting it for pain-related conditions. Yet for many, the cognitively impairing properties of its active ingredient, THC, make cannabis impractical as an everyday painkiller.

A new, first-of-its kind study by CU Boulder researchers suggests that legal-market cannabis strains containing a lesser-known compound called cannabidiol in addition to THC may have a more powerful anti-inflammatory effect while intoxicating users less and having less potential for abuse.

A larger $3 million, four-year chronic pain study kicks off next month.

Pain is the most common reason cited for medical cannabis use, with people out there using these products every day. But they have no data on whether there are any particular cannabinoids or doses that hit that magic balance, where their pain is mitigated, but they are not walking around feeling impaired, said corresponding author Cinnamon Bidwell, an assistant research professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science. Our preliminary data suggest that when people use a CBD-containing strain they show less intoxication, less cognitive impairment and less craving.

The small study, published in March in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, is the first to use the labs new observational method for assessing the acute physiological and cognitive impacts of legal market cannabis strains on real-world users.

Patients Experience Fewer Side Effects

Can Marijuana Replace Opioids To Treat Pain, Addiction? UCLA Researchers Want To Find Out

One of the most significant drawbacks to the consistent use of opioids for pain management are the side effects. These can include nausea, vomiting, considerable risk of dependence, and more. That means chronic pain patients often must take medications intended to treat the side effects of their pain medication. Medical marijuana does not have this problem. The side effects are much less pronounced and typically remain mild if they occur at all. The risk of dependency is likewise practically non-existent in comparison. Patients can, therefore, treat their pain and only their pain, rather than a lengthy list of side effects.

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What Did The Iasp Find

The IASP took a detailed, methodical approach to their work especially given the prevalence of anecdotal evidence that claims cannabis can help patients deal with pain. Referring to the pharmaceutical companies that fueled the opioid crisis and the trauma caused by the resulting addictions, Dr. Scheman says, The pain community is keenly aware of making recommendations based on claims made by people who may have other motives.

In taking this systematic approach to reviewing studies and trials, Dr. Scheman says the IASP sought to learn everything thats been reviewed with relation to cannabis and pain. They wanted to find out what was out there. What does the science tell us? she says. And if youre recommending something for chronic use, you want to know how effective it is over several years at a time.

They looked at a number of different areas because they wanted to know the basic science and clinical pharmacology of cannabis, Dr. Scheman adds. What the group found, she notes, is a wealth of literature demonstrating that cannabis can be an analgesic . They also found evidence from lab studies that cannabis and cannabinoids might, biochemically speaking, be effective in helping with pain.

Reasons For Back Pain

Back pain is common in the average population around the world, especially in industrial countries. The back pain continues for less than three months is declared to be acute pain. However, the back pain that lasts for more than three months is reported to be chronic pain. The most common type of back pain is pain without compressed nerve or mechanical back pain.

There are following common reasons for back pain:

  • Trapped nerves

Most of the people think that surgery is the last option to cure back pain. But, try using Medical Marijuana.

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The Legal Stuff: How Do I Get Medical Marijuana

Depending on which state you live in, marijuana laws will vary. In states like Alaska, Massachusetts, California, Colorado, Maine, Washington and Nevada, all uses of marijuana have been legalized.

In other states, recreational marijuana is illegal but medical use is permitted. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Michigan.

In five states the THC level of medical marijuana is capped and controlled. Anything over the level of THC outlined by the state is not permitted. South Carolina and Tennessee have most limited THC content permitted, stating that cannabis oil must contain less than 0.9% THC.

As of this writing, only 4 states deem marijuana illegal for medical use. Currently, medical marijuana is still illegal in:

  • South Dakota
  • Kansas
  • Idaho

Note: Heres an updated list with the legality of marijuana across the USA .

The rest of the states allow some form of legal medical marijuana use. However, costs and difficulty associated with obtaining a license or prescription vary. In addition, marijuana is largely not covered by insurance as it is not directly prescribed by providers. A lot of patients independently go to dispensaries to get their medical marijuana and not entirely government-controlled.

District of Columbia has the most expensive price per ounce of high-quality marijuana. Per ounce, it costs nearly three times the average price on Oregon!

Here are the states where medical marijuana is broadly legalized :

  • Alabama

The Use Of Medical Marijuana

Can Medical Marijuana Be Used for Back Pain from ...

Medical marijuana has many names, such as medical cannabis, medical weed and medical pot. They all refer to a plant-based medication derived from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica species of marijuana.

The history of using cannabis for medicinal purposes goes back thousands of years. Ancient cultures in China, Egypt, India and Greece used it as a treatment for a variety of maladies. In fact, before marijuana was made illegal in 1937, American physicians used it as a sleep aid, anti-convulsive, analgesic and more.

The active ingredients in marijuana are what give the plant its medical potency these chemicals are called cannabinoids. While there are dozens of cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, most physicians focus on two major compounds that contribute to the plants medical properties THC and CBD.

Cannabinoids are what make marijuana for pain an effective treatment. However, the effects and effectiveness will differ depending on the cannabinoid composition of a medical marijuana treatment. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is what gives the plant its psychoactive side effects. Cannabidiol or CBD, on the other hand, has many medicinal uses while not causing users to get high.

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Final Thoughts On Cannabis And Back Pain

The evidence, both anecdotal and scientific, most definitely seems to support the use of cannabis for treating chronic back pain.

If you are a chronic sufferer and have not managed to find relief from the traditional methods, trying cannabis may well provide a solution.

As long as your country or states laws allow for it, you can suggest the use of cannabis and discuss it with a registered physician to see if it is an option for you.

Heres Where Medical Marijuana Gets Complicated

Much of the research into medical marijuana has been preliminary to date but the predominant pathway for the medicinal effects of marijuana seem to be its interaction with the bodys endocannabinoid system. The system is also named for the plants naturally occurring cannabinoids, the two core ones being: cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol .

To further explain, this system modulates your bodys desire to stay balanced and stable, known as homeostasis, and plays an important role in neuronal and immune cell function, both of which are important parts of pain perception. There are three parts of the endocannabinoid system:

  • cannabinoid receptors, namely CB1 and CB2
  • endogenous cannabinoids
  • enzymes that facilitate the breakdown and use of cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout your body and help determine how cannabinoids affect you.

    CB1 receptors are found predominantly in your central nervous system and affect a persons pain experience. CB1 receptors also play a role in the signaling of pain to the brain via the spinal cord. On a physiological level, CB1 receptors can affect your emotions, memory, executive functioning, and reward. CB1 is the receptor predominantly responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis.9

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    Having Those Hard Conversations

    Rolling a joint at work isnt exactly socially acceptable yet. It can be difficult to explain your medical marijuana use with family members, especially children . The historical propaganda and stigma surrounding marijuana can complicate life for the medical marijuana user. While there is still a dearth of research on medical marijuana, there is no record of anyone overdosing from marijuana. However, the jury is still out on whether one can develop a physical dependence or addiction to the substance.

    At the end of the day, your pain is your own experience and how you choose to manage your condition is a personal choice. While the science of marijuana for pain relief is new and evolving, its historical use is more traditional than most people realize. Whatever your choice, it should be about what helps you live your happiest, healthiest, and most pain-free life.

    Medical Marijuana Vs Opioids

    Cancer Patient Speaks Out About Medical Marijuana

    Sadly, opioids have a high addiction rate. A recent CDC study shows that taking prescription opioid-based painkillers for just a single day will give you a six percent chance of becoming addicted to the drugs. Rest assured that marijuana is not an addictive substance. In fact, patients with widely different backgrounds and circumstances are opting to manage their back pain with marijuana over prescription opioids. Some of the best advocates for the use of marijuana to treat chronic back pain have been MMA athletes and football players due to the physically damaging nature of their respective fields of sports.

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    How To Get Medical Marijuana For Back Pain

    If youâre suffering from debilitating back pain and would like to know more about medical cannabis, talk to a Comprehensive Pain Centerlicensed medical marijuana physicianabout the options. We will go over your symptoms, do full evaluation, give you diagnosis and recommend the medical marijuana path right for you.

    You will have to get a medical marijuana card from the State of Pennsylvania. Then you will need to shop for a dispensary to get the marijuana strain suited for you.

    If pain interferes with your life, contact a Comprehensive Pain Center location nearest you for an immediate evaluation. We will work with you to best treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back to life. We have locations across Pennsylvania including Allentown, E. Stroudsburg, Pottsville, Reading, Lehighton, Bangor, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazelton. We take multiple insurance plans.

    To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back your life, today.


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