Medical Marijuana vs Back Pain

Back pain is a medical condition that usually cannot be ignored due to its interference with overall sense of well-being and it is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor. Although it is possible for the pain to go away from lying down and relaxing, many times the remedy isn't that simple. When it comes to medical cannabis, back pain is a condition that has been treated with success for some patients. The following reasons summarize why medical cannabis can help people with back pain. 

1. The Body Naturally Makes Cannabis-like Chemicals

The human body has its own natural painkilling system in which it manufactures chemicals like marijuana that treat pain, according to a WebMD article reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH. Marijuana can help those natural chemicals perform better for some people, according to University of Colorado PharmD Laura Borgelt. Medical marijuana has been prescribed by doctors in states where it is legal to use as treatment for chronic pain, particularly nerve pain and muscle spasms. 

A 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) presented evidence that spinal cord injury and other forms of acute pain could be treated with cannabinoids, which are found in marijuana. The report mentioned that the nervous system includes cannabinoid receptors that detect and control the perception of pain. 

The report characterized marijuana as a promising pain relief medication of the future. As the medical community becomes more willing to research medical cannabis, back pain problems will likely be resolved on a wider scale without the use of drugs such as codeine. The report found that codeine required six times an amount than THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, to achieve the same pain relief effects. The report noted that THC patients reported less anxiety than codeine patients did.

2. Conventional Treatments are More Dangerous and Expensive

It's a good idea to avoid heavier drugs that can have more harmful side effects. In fact, recent studies show that states which have legalized medical marijuana have had decreased pharmaceutical painkiller deaths. Aside from fatal overdoses, side effects from pharmaceutical painkillers can include nausea, gastric bleeding, ulcers and stomach problems. Even though these drugs can provide pain relief, the side effects present too much risk, whereas marijuana does not have many side effects. Another difference with cannabis is that it is not physically addictive, whereas many conventional drugs can be. 

Conventional drugs can also be much more expensive than cannabis. Insurance doesn't always cover all costs and in the United States pharmaceutical drugs cost astronomically higher than in other countries. The downside of capitalism is that corporations are allowed to set high prices, even for health care products. Cannabis, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive, partly because it typically is not manufactured in a lab with synthetic patented chemicals and it doesn't involve the research and marketing costs that drive up pharma drug prices. These reasons have played a major role in patients of many disorders shifting to medical marijuana, especially for chronic back pain. 

3. Medical Cannabis, Back Pain and Associated Problems

Medical cannabis not only reduces or even eliminates back pain; it can also reduce or eliminate other discomfort that arises from back pain. These associated problems include anxiety, depression and insomnia, which can all be relieved by marijuana for certain individuals. Many states have named these specific conditions as grounds for doctors to approve medical cannabis for treatment. By eliminating these various health issues, you can improve your quality of life and get on with your life. Other associated benefits of marijuana include mood elevation and improved sleep.

via: the Medical Marijuana Association

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