Medical cannabis has been getting quite some attention for its potential to relieve certain types of pain and inflammation, including back pain.
The thing about back pain is that it hits you out of nowhere and happens at the most inconvenient of times. It leaves you completely immobile and makes you want to stay in the same position so as to not feel that striking pain.
This is why people look for pain-relieving medications that can help them cope with the pain or use certain marijuana strains as an alternative. So, before we talk about how marijuana helps with easing pain or which strains are the most effective for such a situation, let’s discuss back pain first.
Back pain can happen due to strained muscles, sudden movements, lifting something improperly, etc. It can also happen due to ruptured or bulging disks, sciatica, or arthritis. Back pain is one of the most common causes of disability in the United States.
The Science Behind Cannabis and Pain Relief
Around 36 states in the US have legalized medical cannabis, and have put thorough regulatory measures in place for the safety and effectiveness of its usage.
Several state-led studies have already proven that cannabis contains therapeutic effects that help in easing back pain. There is a multitude of different strains, each of them having a different range of therapeutic effects. These strains are classified under the three different types of marijuana plants that are cannabis Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids.
A research study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine evaluated the effects of Indica versus the effect of Sativa through an online survey. The study consisted of 95 cannabis users who were observed for their health conditions and the purpose for which they were consuming cannabis.
As a result, it was found out that most of the participants preferred using an Indica strain to seek relief from pain and enhance their sleep. A majority of the participants also preferred using the Sativa strain for enhancing their focus and energy. In addition, the participants reported significant improvement with chronic pain conditions such as joint pain, neuropathic pain, spasticity, and headaches after the conception of Indica.
The study was, however, said to be anecdotal due to its limitations, such as the sample size of the study being small in scale and the symptoms being self-reported by the participants. Furthermore, the fact that the study was not held in any controlled setting highly affected the result with regards to the drug composition, dosage, and potency.
Another research published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics talks about the differential effects of medical marijuana-based on the strain and the route of administration over the course of three years.
As a result, it was found out that almost half of the participants were using marijuana to treat symptoms of HIV. In addition, the participants reported that they were using Indica strains for improving their appetite and energy, whereas both Sativa and Indica helped them alleviate nausea to almost the same degree.
How Does Cannabis Help Alleviate Pain And What Does Research Say About It?
The most active compounds of cannabis, THC, and CBD, bind with the pain receptors present inside our body and then block them from sending out signals to the brain. As a result, after the consumption of cannabis, people feel less pain.
THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, resembles the cannabinoid chemicals already present in our body. So, when people ingest or consume THC through whichever means, it stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. This, as a result, reduces our pain levels.
THC is mainly responsible for its psychoactive effects as it binds to the cannabinoid receptors and produces a rather elevated state of mind. On the other hand, CBD is more concerned with exerting pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, it does not have any psychoactive effects like THC.
In recent years there has been a multitude of studies conducted to observe the effects of cannabis on a wide range of health conditions. Some of these studies utilize parts of the marijuana plant, and some utilize the entire plant as per the requirement of the research.
Studies utilizing the parts of the marijuana plant, such as CBD oil, help the researchers take a closer look at the specific ingredients of the plant. Whereas, utilizing the whole plant enables the researchers to study the entourage effect caused by the combination of all compounds of the plant.
A 2015 study observed the efficacy of marijuana and cannabinoid for various chronic pain conditions as well as other psychiatric problems.
As a result, it was found out that many of the participants had a reduced level of pain after the consumption of marijuana which led the researchers to the conclusion that marijuana or cannabinoids may be effective for treating certain types of chronic pain conditions and for reducing stress and anxiety levels as well.
Another such research was conducted in 2016, where cannabis usage was observed in patients suffering from chronic pain. As a result of this study, it was found out that 64% of the participants faced a reduction in the pain level with lesser side effects as opposed to the opioid medications they were recommended for pain.
Some other studies have also reported the benefits of utilizing marijuana for several types of chronic pain. Such as:
- A research study conducted on 17000 patients diagnosed with cancer who were treated with cannabis said to have 70% of the patients with reduced pain level and improved general well-being.
- People with migraines experienced a decrease in the frequency of occurrence.
Some Suggested Strains for Pain Relief
OG Kush is an Indica dominant cannabis strain that has a higher level of THC, due to which the consumer can feel relaxed. Furthermore, it also helps them to get relief from chronic pain or muscle spasms.
OG Kush has approximately 23 % of THC components and about 1% of CBD components.
Gorilla glue is a hybrid cannabis strain that is made by cross-breeding chocolate and sour diesel. It has about 25% of THC components, which help the consumer feel more relaxed after its usage. It also helps in lessening the pain caused by injuries or any chronic conditions. Therefore, it is best to use this strain before bedtime.
ACDC has more CBD components and therefore is known as a Sativa dominant marijuana strain. The ratio of CBD and THC components in this strain is 20:1, where the CBD components are about 16 to 24% and THC levels ranging between 0.4-1.2percent.
Due to its high CBD levels, the ACDC marijuana strain helps with inflammation and acts as an effective painkiller.
Types of Product Forms
Cannabis strains are available in a wide range of different products forms, and the most common are:
Cannabis oil can be consumed in a small amount to experience its therapeutic effects. CBD oil is the most popular cannabis product form that helps people with inflammation and chronic pain.
Then we have topical treatments such as lotion, balms, or salves that contain cannabinoids. When these topical treatments are applied to the skin, one can experience a lower level of pain and inflammation. It is also found that transdermal patches contain cannabinoids and are more effective than lotions or salves.
Lastly, we have edibles which are again one of the most popular ways to consume marijuana.
Edibles are all about infusing marijuana with any of the food items such as cookies, brownies, or candies.
This makes the consumption of marijuana rather easier, but the effects of marijuana with the infusion of food can be a bit difficult to predict.
The Best Las Vegas Dispensary Near Me
Now you can buy your favorite cannabis products and strains online at the best Las Vegas dispensary – Medizin.
Medizin is an award-winning Vegas dispensary that offers a wide range of premium cannabis strains and products in-store and online. Place your order now for delivery or curbside pickup!
You can also visit our Las Vegas dispensary to meet our knowledgeable budtenders, who can help you navigate all your cannabis needs. Our store is operational between 8:00am to 12:00am from Sunday to Wednesday, and between 8:00am to 3:00am from Thursday to Saturday.