• J. L. Campbell

Why is Medical Marijuana an Effective Pain Reliever?


using medical marijuana for pain relief

Many patients who experience chronic pain are finding relief in the form of medical marijuana. In Missouri, and other states where medical marijuana has been legalized, residents with a medical card are finding THC to be a valid alternative to opioids and other prescription pain medications.


Chronic pain is an affliction experienced by more patients than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. According to a 2018 report published by the Center for Disease Control, more than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.


Over the past few decades, millions of patients have turned to opioids to treat this pain. But these prescriptions, which include name brands such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Fentanyl, have been linked to long term addiction and even death when misused. The current opioid crisis has led many patients to seek a natural alternative.


How does marijuana help relieve pain?

The two most studied pain relieving components found in marijuana are a pair of phytocannabinoids called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). In a report for U.S. Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacist Yvette C. Terry details research that has shown both THC and CBD combined “exhibit synergistic effects that promote pain relief.”


THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana, responsible for the euphoric feeling often referred to as “being high.” This high activates the brain’s reward center, binding to cannabinoid receptors and reducing pain levels. Additionally, it can diminish nausea and increase appetite.


CBD does not have a psychoactive component and is not associated with euphoric feelings. In other words, it will not get you high. The way CBD helps is by interacting with the brain’s pain receptors, causing anti inflammatory effects that help with pain relief.


Why choose medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana is worth considering, because of the wide array of ailments it can treat. According to Dr. Peter Grinspoon of the Harvard Medical School blog, while cannabis is not an appropriate treatment for a severe pain, such as post-surgery or a broken leg, it is “quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age.”


Dr. Grinspoon goes on to mention medical marijuana as an excellent muscle relaxant that has been known to lessen tremors in Parkinson’s patients, as well as treat fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, pain associated with HIV, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and “most other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain.”


He also explains that many patients who would typically have no alternative other than a sedating opioid treatment have found medical marijuana “allows them to resume their previous activities without feeling completely out of it and disengaged.”


How do I use marijuana for pain relief?

If you are someone who is new to the idea of using cannabis for pain relief, you should know you have a lot of options. The method of consumption that most people think of is smoking the flower of the plant. That is still a viable option, but there are many additional ways to get relief.


Dispensaries across Missouri have a wide array of medical marijuana products such as vapes, tinctures, edibles, as well as the often-overlooked cannabis topicals. We recommend you speak with a doctor who specializes in cannabis about the specific type of pain you are seeking relief for. Bring those recommendations with you to your local dispensary.


Ready for Relief?

If you’re ready for the pain relieving benefits of medical marijuana, you’ll need a medical card to do so. If you need help getting your card, our team of physicians can help take you through a fast evaluation to see if you qualify. CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with a marijuana doctor, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.



Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri


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