Pain plays a vitally important role in the human body. Whether we like it or not, pain acts as the important alarm system that tells us when something is wrong – we simply cannot live without it. For those of us who suffer from chronic, daily pain the search for effective and long lasting relief seems endless and oftentimes when something potent enough is prescribed it comes at the cost of debilitating side effects. Thankfully, as California medical marijuana laws become more lax, cannabis card holders can now enjoy the unrivalled pain relieving effects of MMJ without fear of being persecuted for doing so.
Nowadays, those with a medical marijuana card have been using the plant to treat a whole spectrum of painful disorders such as arthritis or peripheral neuropathy, it’s even been used to treat the pain caused by childbirth! When it comes to the pain-relieving power of medical marijuana, we really can’t underestimate things. A clinical trial conducted by Mark Ware MD at McGill University in Montreal found that as little as three puffs of MMJ a day significantly reduced the chronic nerve pain of medical marijuana card holders enabling them to live more independently and sleep much better.
So how exactly does MMJ ease pain? Put simply, it does so by working in conjunction with the endocannabinoid system within the human body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating some of our most important biological functions like sleep, immunity and pain. It does so by releasing endocannabinoids to control these functions when they start to get out of whack. When endocannabinoids are not able to deal with this problem on their own, this is where we get into serious trouble and where pain can start to spiral out of control.
When one consumes medical marijuana as a way of relieving this pain, the active cannabinoids within the plant mimic the work of the endocannabinoids giving them a much needed boost and enabling them to do their job better. Although there are hundreds of cannabinoids present in MMJ, the most well-known and hard-working ones have to be tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC acts as an extremely potent pain reliever and anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant and muscle relaxant. CBD, on the other hand, has potent anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and anti-psychotic properties. These two components have an amazing synergizing effect insofar as they work exponentially better together than they do alone. As THC is the ingredient in MMJ that produces psychoactive effects, it’s important that CBD is present for those medical marijuana card holders who want to enjoy the benefits of their MMJ without the drowsiness that can come with it.
As well as cannabinoids, medical marijuana also contains terpenoids and flavonoids which work in conjunction with the other active components of the plant to provide the body with further relief from pain and inflammation. This combination not only provides pain relief but also has been noted to ease nausea, stimulate bone growth, prevent seizures and even reverse the growth of some cancer cells.
As for the best strains of cannabis to treat pain, we’ll have to get more specific. Different types of pain can be vastly different in the way they need to be treated – you wouldn’t treat chronic nerve pain with an Aspirin! The same logic applies when you’re treating any sort of pain with medical marijuana, you need to use the appropriate strain for your ailment or else you could find it entirely ineffective.
For migraine relief go for a strain like Blueberry Headband. This strain is known for its ‘cerebral’ effects that target pain straight at the crown of your head, giving you near instant, targeted relief.
If you suffer from chronic spinal pain, opt for indica strain Mazar. Mazar is absolutely packed with cannabinoids that have an extremely potent painkilling effect, much more so than other strains.
Although most medical marijuana card holders typically wouldn’t use a sativa strain for pain relief, Harlequin is the exception to the rule. Perfect for treating inflammation and arthritis pain, Harlequin’s high CBD content makes it an effective pain reliever. The buzz given off isn’t as strong as other strains as well making it a perfect daytime consumable.
For generalized pain, opt for ultra-MMJ ACDC which has near unrivaled painkilling abilities. The secret to ACDC’s superpower comes from the fact that it contains very high levels of both THC and CBD making it the ultimate pain relieving medical marijuana out there.
Left unsatisfied by more traditional methods, people who suffer from chronic pain have benefited greatly from the medical professions increasingly lax views on cannabis as a form of analgesic. Cannabis usage as a way of relieving pain has been an absolute godsend for California medical marijuana card holders and thanks to the advent of more progressive MMJ laws across the country, more and more people now have access to the potentially life changing plant. As ever though, it is imperative that you talk to your physician and obtain a certified California medical marijuana license before embarking on your treatment.