Chronic pain affects millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, about 50 million people experience long-term pain that impacts their quality of life. Whether the pain is widespread or in the back, knees, hips, joints, or feet, cannabinoids may help. Here’s a look at how people can use them to manage or relieve their pain.
Identify the Right Product(s) and Dosage
Oils, tinctures, edibles, and topical creams are among the many types of cannabinoid products available. It can seem overwhelming to find the right product and dosage for your needs, but edibles present an easy way to begin. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it to find the optimal amount.
For example, you can consume varying dosages of Delta-9 THC in forms such as chocolate, hard candy, gummies, nerd ropes, s’mores bars, and vapes. Edibles are popular and discreet, and different types are available for immediate and extended relief.
Tinctures and sprays can offer pain relief right away but have shorter-term effects. Gummies and drinks offer longer-term relief for four to eight hours but may take one to two hours to start working. Your doctor and other people you know who use cannabinoids for chronic pain should be able to offer tips.
It is critical to understand the difference between THC and CBD. THC is a psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s well-known for its pain-relieving properties but can cause “highs,” euphoria, and other side effects such as dry mouth and dizziness. Delta-8 can produce milder highs and milder side effects than Delta-9.
CBD is non-psychoactive. Since there is no high, CBD products may be more appropriate to take for chronic pain during work hours and other times when you should not be high. Research indicates it has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties without the side effects of THC.
Keep a Journal
A personal health journal for your chronic pain can narrow down good cannabis products and dosages for you. Track what you take and when, how your pain and its severity may change, any side effects, and what activities you are and are not able to do.
Also, record other medications you are taking and anything that could affect your chronic pain, for example, starting a new regimen of physical therapy.
Combine With Other Treatments
Cannabinoids by themselves can greatly help your chronic pain, but the impact could be even better when you use them with other treatments.
- Talk with your doctor before adding cannabinoids to your treatment plan to ensure there are no negative interactions.
- Lifestyle changes such as meditation, yoga, and a healthy diet can reduce pain and inflammation, too.
- Massage, counseling, physical therapy, and surgery are some other treatments you may be receiving or will receive at some point.
Use Topical Cannabinoids for Localized Pain
Chronic pain may be spread throughout your body or localized to an area such as your back or knee. Topical cannabinoid creams and balms could be good treatments for localized pain since you can directly apply them to affected areas.
Consider the Legality
This tip may be obvious but is worth mentioning. Recreational and medical cannabis is not legal everywhere. There may be alternatives such as Delta-8, though. Research the law if needed, and ask your doctors and cannabis stores for options.
Talk With Your Doctor Before Taking Breaks or Stopping Treatment
It is possible for your body to develop a tolerance and/or dependence on the cannabinoid you are using. Taking breaks can prevent that, but talk with your doctor first before you do something like that. The same idea applies if you decide to stop taking the cannabinoids for whatever reason.
Learn More about Why Cannabinoids Work for Chronic Pain
It’s a good idea to know why many people recommend taking cannabinoids for chronic pain. That way, you can explore good solutions for your specific case and better communicate your symptoms, desires, and ideas to doctors and other relevant people.
Medical websites, books, and medical professionals who prescribe cannabinoids are good places to start. Forums and social media groups for people who take cannabinoids for pain often prove educational, too.
As you learn about others’ situations and discuss your own, keep in mind that everyone is unique. One person might have very similar circumstances to yours but a different experience with cannabinoids for pain.
Here is a brief overview of the subject: Cannabinoids are chemical compounds in the cannabis plant and interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating pain perception, among other bodily functions. When cannabinoids interact with the ECS, they can reduce pain and inflammation.
Chronic pain typically is pain lasting longer than three months. It can result from repeated or strenuous work, cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and many other things. The pain may be aching, burning, throbbing, shooting, stinging, or something along these lines. Chronic pain can cause other issues such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and fatigue.
Cannabinoids have the potential to provide significant relief from chronic pain and improve your quality of life. It is important to find the right products, take them regularly, and track their effectiveness.