Chronic Pain, classified as pain that persists for longer than three to six months is a common debilitating condition that affects hundreds of millions of people each and every day. The severity of chronic pain varies but extreme cases can be completely incapacitating. Due to how long Chronic Pain can persist, both an emotional and physical toll is taken on the sufferer. Common causes and examples of chronic pain include but are not limited to: headaches; joint pain (arthritis); pain from injuries or accidents; back pain resulting from complications of the spine; tendinitis; carpal tunnel syndrome; pain caused by other ailments or infections; and even some medical therapies and treatments may result in long lasting, substantial pain. Oftentimes anger, anxiety, and depression accompany Chronic Pain.
Neuropathic pain is characterized as a pain state caused in the sufferer’s nervous system. With this condition, an individual’s nerves may be damaged, dysfunctional, or separated completely. Causes and examples of Neuropathic Pain include but are not limited to: alcoholism, amputation and the resulting phantom limb syndrome, skeletal and muscular problems (pinched nerves), chemotherapy, diabetes, genetics, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, shingles, spinal injury, and even surgery.
Using Cannabis to Treat Neuropathic Pain
Cannabis is a complex medicinal plant that may actually be used to treat a variety of debilitating symptoms caused by a surprisingly large number of ailments. Its usefulness as a non-lethal medicine (you cannot die from an overdose of cannabis) cannot be overstated and its versatility in terms of how it can be consumed and as to how it can be useful for so many illnesses is something to be excited about. However, it is important to remember that consulting with your primary care physician should be your first priority when considering incorporating cannabis into one’s medical regiment and that cannabis is to be used as an adjunct therapy and not a replacement. It is also your responsibility to communicate with your doctor as to how your use of cannabis has affected your health and of your progress with utilizing medical cannabis.
With that said, studies have shown that cannabis may be quite useful for treating individuals suffering from Neuropathic Pain for the following reasons: significantly reducing the pain itself; assisting with sleep should the pain cause insomnia; and with dealing with possible depression and or anxiety should the individual suffer from it.
Beneficial Cannabinoids and Terpenoids Useful for Treating Neuropathic Pain
The cannabis plant offers a plethora of therapeutic benefits and contains cannabinoids and terpenoid compounds that are useful for treating pain in general. In fact one study that analyzed both Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) published in a 2008 article in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management states that, “Cannabinoid analgesics have generally been well tolerated in clinical trials with acceptable adverse event profiles. Their adjunctive addition to the pharmacological armamentarium for treatment of pain shows great promise.”