Central pain is a broad term used for different types of pain that occur when the central nervous system (CNS) doesn’t process pain signals properly. Sometimes central pain can result from injury, but oftentimes the cause is unknown which makes it difficult to treat. Depending on the individual, pain may be localized to a small area of the body or widespread and for many, the pain is constant. Central pain can be disruptful to an individual’s daily routine and in more severe cases, can dramatically affect their quality of life.
Traditional pain medications generally provide little to no relief for individuals with central pain and an increasing number of patients are using medical cannabis to treat their pain symptoms. According to a recent study, 62% of medical cannabis users are using cannabis specifically to treat chronic pain. In fact, when a study investigated what patients themselves prefer when it comes to managing pain, 93% of patients prefer cannabis over opioids. The therapeutic properties of marijuana have been one of the main reasons behind liberalization of medical cannabis policies in many states. Studies show that CBD or a combination of CBD and THC have such promising effects on pain, that states where people can legally use medical cannabis have shown a decrease in the number of filled opioid prescriptions, and lower rates of opioid overdose and death, compared with states without legal cannabis. People using medical cannabis for conditions that cause chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, may experience improvement in symptoms due to the compounds and active ingredients in THC and CBD. The compounds work by stimulating cannabinoid receptors in the brain, decreasing pain levels. Click here to learn more about how your body is naturally equipped to utilize the cannabis plant’s therapeutic benefits.
Now more than ever doctors are understanding the importance of treating centralized pain as its own disease. If you are experiencing pain and aren’t finding relief using traditional medications, consider seeking out a specialist who embraces alternative methods of pain relief such as medical cannabis. Consider keeping a pain journal and make it a priority to discuss with your doctor the type of pain you are experiencing and how often. If you have already obtained your medical cannabis card, bring your pain journal the next time you visit the dispensary for a consultation with a medical cannabis professional to address your particular needs. While high-THC products may be effective pain relievers initially, they don’t represent an optimal pain relief strategy. Instead, consider balanced THC/CBD products, or CBD-rich products as they may provide better long-term treatment for chronic pain conditions. The staff at any of our Maryland Health for Life locations are here to help you find the right treatments that address your specific concerns.