- The use of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain is much more common.
- Patients should not be afraid to talk to their doctor about this issue.
- They should maintain a professional approach and inform patients about the potential risks and benefits.
There are few subjects that cause stronger emotions among doctors, scientists, researchers, creators, politicians, and the public than medical marijuana.
Its safe? Will it be legal? Decriminalized? Is its effectiveness really proven? Under what conditions can it be used? Is it addictive? How do we keep it away from teenagers? Is it really a "miracle drug" as many describe it? Is Medical Marijuana Just a Step to Complete Legalizing Cannabis?
These are just a few of the manyquestions on this subject, questions I want to avoid so that we can focus on only two specific areas: Why do patients consider it useful and how can they discuss this with a doctor?
Marijuanais currently legal in 29 states of America and Washington DC. However, from the federal governments point of view, it is still illegal. The Obama administration did not prosecute for possession of medical marijuana. President Donald Trump has promised not to interfere with people who use medical marijuana, although his administration is currently threatening to change this policy.
About 85% of Americans support plowing legalization of medical marijuana and it is estimated that at least a few million Americans are currently using marijuana.
No Euphoric Marijuana
The least controversial is the excerpt from cannabis plants known as CBD (or cannabidiol) because this component of marijuana has little (if any) intoxicating properties. Marijuana itself has more than 100 active ingredients. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a chemical that induces a euphoric state that occurs along with the consumption of marijuana. CBD-dominant strains have little or only a trace amount of THC, so that patients do not show any or minimal change in behavior.
However, patients agree on many benefitsfrom CBD, from relieving insomnia, anxiety, spasticide, and pain, to treating potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy. One form of childhood epilepsy called Dravets Syndrome is almost incurable, but dramatically responds to CBD - the dominant strain of marijuana called the Sharlot network.
Use of medical marijuana
The most common use of medical cannabis in the United States is pain relief. Whilemarijuana is not strong enough for post-surgical pain or bone fractures, it is quite effective for relieving chronic pain. It is also clearly safer than opiates (it is not possible to overdose and is much less addictive) and can be replaced by an NSAID such as Advil or Aleve if it cannot be used for example by sledvinama or ulcers.
Marijuana improves multiple sclerosis and nerve pain in general. This is an area where there are several other options, and those such as Neurotin, Lyrica or opiates are highly sedative. Patients claim that marijuana allows them to continue their previous activities without feeling totally out or tired.
Marijuana is also able to relieve tremor in Parkinson's disease. Relatively successful use is also in fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis and most other conditions where chronic pain is a common symptom.
Cannabis can be used to control nausea and weight loss and to treat glaucoma. A very promising area of research is its use for PTSD by veterans returning from combat zones. Many veterans and their therapists report drastic improvements and have stirred up discussions about further studies and the release of government restrictions for these studies.
Medical marijuana is also helpful in treating patients with HIV pain syndrome, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease.
None of the above is intended to be an inclusive list, the purpose being to provide a brief overview of the types of pain for which medical marijuana can provide relief. As with all medicines, effectiveness and caution should be critically assessed
Talk to your doctor
Many patients find themselves in a situation where they want toLearn more about medical marijuana, but feel embarrassed to talk to your doctor about it. This is partly because the medical community as a whole rejects marijuana as an alternative. Doctors are now holding together and trying to get ahead of their patients. Other patients are already taking medical marijuana, but they do not know how to tell their doctor because of concerns that they would be criticized or even blackmailed.
My advice for the patient is to becompletely open and honest to your doctor. Say that you consider the discussion on this topic as part of your care and that you expect them to be informed about it and that they will be at least able to direct you towards the information you need.
My advice to the doctor. I often hear complaints from other doctors notThere is sufficient evidence to support the use of medical marijuana, but there is even less scientific evidence to allow us to keep our heads in the sand.