Cannabis: Combating Chronic Pain from Numerous Angles
Chronic pain is a common problem in the United States. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from various types of chronic pain. Another 20 million live with high-impact disorders, meaning they’re in extreme pain more often than not, and their conditions interfere with work and daily routines.
This report from the CDC also shows that chronic pain holds no bounds. It doesn’t care about age, race, education level, social status, financial standing, or any other factor. Even children aren’t immune with as much as 35 percent of those ages 11 to 15 suffering from persistent headaches, joint pain, and other issues.
At i49, we’re here to help our customers overcome their chronic pain and the many symptoms that often accompany it. We have an extensive selection of cannabis seeds designed to address various medical conditions. Each strain in our inventory brings a unique list of benefits and effects to the table. Feel free to browse our weed seeds catalog to see which ones best suit your needs.
Understanding Chronic Pain
Pain comes in numerous forms. It stems from countless sources and affects people in different ways. For some, it’s mild and fleeting. Others experience debilitating pain that seems to linger unrelentingly.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that affects people for six months or longer. It can develop suddenly or over time but just doesn’t go away. In most cases, it stems from injuries or underlying medical conditions.
On the other hand, acute pain tends to appear unexpectedly. It may last for extended periods of time but usually fades away after six months or so. Acute pain is typically caused by injuries or the result of medical procedures.
Exploring the Common Causes of Chronic Pain
Several issues can lead to chronic pain. Sometimes, they’re simple matters that can be corrected over time with certain changes in a person’s lifestyle or daily habits. In other instances, even pain management specialists struggle to pinpoint the sources of their patients’ physical grief. That makes treating it even more complex than it would be otherwise.
When it comes to lifestyle and lifelong habits, most people don’t realize they’re contributing to their own discomfort. Having poor posture is a leading factor in this category. Years of slumping over a computer screen or constant bending, stooping, and heavy lifting at work can inevitably lead to chronic back, neck, hip, and shoulder pain. Other areas of the body can be affected as well.
Wearing high heels on a regular basis or not having proper arch support may bring about pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back as well. Sleeping on an old or poorly constructed mattress might also cause chronic pain. Many are surprised to learn that even mattress toppers that are designed to align the spine, improve sleep, and reduce pain can actually have the opposite effect.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Numerous medical conditions are responsible for physical suffering as well. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common with more than 54 million Americans being affected. Over 1.3 million people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis as well. Both conditions involve joint inflammation and enduring chronic pain, but osteoarthritis generally develops gradually whereas rheumatoid arthritis comes on more suddenly.
Lupus, multiple sclerosis, and scoliosis are also notorious for bringing about unbearable pain. Lupus is one of many autoimmune diseases that cause the body’s natural defense system to attack the joints and other internal components. In contrast, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions affect the nervous system and lead to widespread pain.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Lordosis and kyphosis are other types of spinal curvature disorders. These conditions can come from growth spurts, muscular abnormalities, birth defects, and injuries to name a few causes.
IBS, IBD, and several conditions falling into this category affect the digestive tract. They can cause chronic abdominal pain. In most cases, this pain comes and goes. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from these issues have little way of knowing when the pain and other symptoms will come and how long it will be before they go.
Those are only a few of the medical conditions that are known to cause incredible pain. For many, it detracts from their quality of life and can lead to other issues along the way. Feeling like there’s no end in sight further exacerbates the situation.
Undiagnosed Causes of Chronic Pain
As mentioned earlier, treatment for chronic pain isn’t always cut-and-dried. Some people live with agony, and their physicians can’t seem to figure out why. This often leads to the infamous “it’s all in your head” diagnosis. We all know that’s a bunch of nonsense.
If you’re in pain, there’s a reason for it. It’s not a figment of your imagination. Let’s not overlook the fact that depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders can easily spark physical symptoms, not the least of which is widespread, unfading pain. Past injuries that seem to have healed based on x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may leave you with ongoing pain as well.
Of course, that doesn’t get you any closer to a treatment. Many doctors quickly dismiss “undiagnosable” pain rather than looking deeper for a cause or offering treatment options for it. In turn, failure to treat it can lead to additional physical and emotional issues.
Treating Chronic Pain with Cannabis
Quite a few treatment options are on the market these days. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory agents often do little to mitigate chronic pain. Prescription pain medications are typically opioids. They’re notoriously dangerous and addictive. Your body can become immune to them over time as well, meaning you’ll need continually increasing doses to achieve the desired results.
Other medications designed to treat the numerous causes of chronic pain are also available. Patients often experience minimal relief with these drugs. In some cases, the side effects of the medications are worse than the symptoms they’re supposed to alleviate. That’s where cannabis comes into play.
How Does Cannabis Treat Pain?
Cannabis can help treat pain from many angles because of its intrinsic cannabinoids. Though in-depth research has isolated several cannabinoids, the most well-known of these substances are THC and CBD. Both act in different ways to help quell pain and offer various types of relief.
Scientists aren’t sure of exactly how cannabis works to reduce pain. Right now, a few common theories exist. Many experts believe that THC binds with pain receptors to block the neurotransmitters that convey pain signals between the brain and the rest of the body.
On the other hand, CBD reacts with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system to lower people’s perception of pain. Some also insist that cannabinoids heighten the body’s production of certain hormones and other substances that elicit positive feelings. This essentially drowns out the pain.
Which Cannabis Strains are Best for Treating Pain?
No single, all-inclusive variety of marijuana is effective for everyone or all forms of pain. Determining which cannabis strain is best for you depends on a few crucial factors. These mainly include the type of pain you’re experiencing and its underlying causes.
Studies generally show that Indica-dominant strains work best for chronic pain from standard causes. They often have high THC levels and induce deep states of relaxation while interacting with the body’s pain receptors to ease the agony in two ways. If your pain stems from tension, overexertion, or depression, something like Early Skunk x Northern Lights may help you find ample relief.
When it comes to neuropathic pain and disorders of the nervous system, research shows that marijuana can be particularly effective. CBD typically provides a calming, relaxing effect whereas THC aids in blocking pain. Still, many experts point out that THC can sometimes overstimulate the nervous system and detract from the overall results.
If you’re looking for help with pain from multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, and other conditions that affect the nervous system, cannabis may be the answer you’re looking for. That being said, balance is the key to success here. Look for a strain with an equal THC-to-CBD ratio, such as CBD AK47.
Muscular pain often responds best to THC though CBD can help with strain and certain disorders of the muscular system. For those types of chronic pain, you might benefit most from a Sativa-dominant strain with a moderate amount of THC and a low concentration of CBD. Sour Diesel is one of our most popular strains in this category.
Those who are looking for pain reduction without the extreme sleepiness of many high-THC strains may be interested in a Sativa-dominant hybrid with stimulating and uplifting effects. One prime example is Neville’s Haze. Special strains like this offer a spark of energy and creativity but don’t skimp on relief from pain and inflammation.
All this brings us to the chronic pain that can’t seem to be narrowed down to a specific cause. How do you treat something you don’t fully understand? It’d be a bit like firing a rifle at a ghost. Plenty of catch-all strains are available for situations like these, one of which is Rosenthal Fem. Since they attack pain and other issues on a broader level, you’re not likely to miss out on the benefits.
Smokables Versus Edibles: Which Are Most Effective?
Now that we’ve covered types of chronic pain, their causes, and which strains offer the most help, it’s time to look at the matter from a different perspective. Marijuana can be used in various ways to combat pain, such as smoking it, applying it topically, and consuming it via edibles. Smoking and edibles are the most popular alternatives, but which is best?
Smoking inarguably provides faster results. When you inhale the smoke from marijuana, cannabinoids enter the bloodstream quickly, so their effects are almost immediate. You also get more noticeable effects with less product. Those effects usually last around three hours or so, but they can linger for as long as eight hours.
Edibles take quite a bit longer to generate results. When you eat products containing cannabis, its compounds have to go through the digestive process before reaching the bloodstream. They can take anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours or longer to take effect.
At the same time, some of the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are destroyed along the way, so you might need more of them to create noticeable relief. Those effects can last eight hours or more, though. Still, it’s not uncommon for people to overdose with edibles. When they don’t feel the effects as quickly as they expect, they consume more. That often makes for a less-than-positive experience.
Smoking marijuana gives you faster results, but they don’t last nearly as long. Edibles take more time to spring into action, yet the impact lasts quite a bit longer. Which one would best suit your needs depends on whether you want short-lived relief within a few minutes or prefer longer-lasting results and are willing to wait for them.
Eliminate Chronic Pain at Its Source
If chronic pain is putting a damper on your life and emotional state, cannabis may be the answer you’re looking for. No matter where your pain comes from, there’s most likely a strain that’ll provide relief. At i49, we have something to suit everyone. Browse our selection to see all the possibilities we have to offer.