Treating Neuropathy with medical marijuana

Neuropathy is a painful and debilitating condition which can affect different areas of the body. Prescription therapies are often inadequate and have significant side effects. Medical marijuana alone or in addition to prescription medications has been shown to be effective in relieving or reducing neuropathy symptoms in some patients.

One of the best studied benefits of marijuana is pain relief.

Because Medical cannabis has a global effect, it seems to relieve pain from a variety of sources, like headaches, neuropathic pain and chronic pain from an underlying condition.  Medical cannabis will not treat the underlying condition causing your neuropathy, but it may make the painful and annoying symptoms more tolerable.  Another advantage of medical marijuana is its calming effect. Maintaining a calm feeling usually lowers the amount of pain you feel. You might also find it easier to sleep by using certain strains which have a sleep-inducing effect. When coupled with pain relief, you will likely have more restful sleep.

Why Medical Marijuana for Neuropathy works

One of the main advantages of cannabis is its pain relieving effect. Anecdotal evidence and research studies show decreased thoughts of pain in individuals that use medical marijuana regularly.

Medical cannabis seems to relieve a variety of kinds of pain, like headaches, neuropathic pain and chronic pain. Consuming cannabis might not stop the underlying condition causing your neuropathy, though it might make it easier to control the pain sensations.

Chemicals called cannabinoids, which are found naturally in marijuana, interact with the body to offer pain relief. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) appear to have probably the greatest impact on pain. These 2 chemicals activate protien receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system that alter your body’s perception of pain.

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for a lot of functions in your body, including the immune system’s response which causes inflammation. Medical marijuana strains with CBD and THC assist the body in lowering pain levels by binding to the receptors of your endocannabinoid system to stop inflammation which makes it easier to manage your neuropathy.

Another advantage of medical marijuana is its calming effect. Maintaining a calm feeling is able to help lower the level of pain you feel. You might also find it easier to sleep by using certain strains which have a sleep inducing effect. When coupled with pain relief, the drowsiness might help you get a better night’s rest.

Research on medical marijuana and neuropathy is limited due to federal regulations, though many scientific studies show a good correlation between cannabis consumption and pain relief for neuropathy. The Neuropathy Journal highlights a number of studies about medical marijuana therapy for neuropathy, including:

  • A 2007 study which found HIV patients experienced reduced neuropathic pain.
  • A 2014 study from American Academy of Neurology that identified decreased numbness, burning, and pain in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
  • A 2016 study which demonstrated medical marijuana may be a highly effective option to pain relievers for some individuals.

Medical cannabis can provide you with the pain relief you need to enhance your quality of life. By minimizing or perhaps getting rid of the pain, you are in a position to go about your every day tasks without debilitating pain. Reducing the pain makes you feel better overall so that you are able to enjoy life.

Cannabis and Neuropathy Treatment

Treating neuropathy pain with medical cannabis is a great natural alternative for patients. If traditional therapies haven’t worked for you, consider incorporating marijuana into your current treatment plan. Our experienced medical marijuana doctors are able to evaluate your medical record to suggest dosage amounts and strains appropriate to control your pain effectively.

Some strains often recommended for pain and discomfort associated with neuropathy include:

  • White-colored Widow
  • Purple Kush
  • Chem Dawg
  • Super Silver Haze
  • Jack Herer

Remember that strains can vary greatly in their potency. While a strain high in THC may be helpful in reducing your pain, it might also be a bit more than you expect if you are new to cannabis. Purple Kush and Chem Dawg, for example, are rather potent. It’s always good to start low and gradually increase the dose until the desired effect is achieved. More is not always better!

When discussing possible strains with a marijuana doctor, it is helpful when you recognize the basic differences between the two primary types of medical marijuana strains. Medical cannabis is described as being both Sativa or perhaps Indica. Both can offer the pain relief you are looking for, but each have a number of distinctions.

Indica strains tend to have have a sedating impact and enable you to loosen up. They’re helpful in dealing with pain, as well as nervousness, insomnia and muscle spasms. If you have insomnia because of your neuropathy, consider an Indica strain to help you sleep.

Sativa strains have a tendency to have the opposite effect. They are mood enhancers, creating an uplifting feeling with a more cerebral effect. In addition to pain, sativa strains might also help treat mood, fatigue, ADD, and depression disorders. These might be a more sensible choice if you want to remain alert during the day.

Ways of Consuming Cannabis

The method of consumption is another thing to consider when deciding how to treat neuropathy with cannabis. The different methods each have their own pros and cons. Comparing the differences will help you figure out which way works best for you.

The main techniques of using medical cannabis include:

Smoking: Most folks think of smoking when they think of medical marijuana. The primary advantage of smoking medical cannabis is you start to feel your pain subside within 2-5 minutes. However the effects only last about 2-4 hours. For someone suffering from severe pain, that instant relief is very important. Still, smoking does come with drawbacks, such as the impact on your lungs from inhaling combustible plant material.

Vaporizing: If you don’t like the thought of smoking marijuana, consider vaporizing. This is when you use a device to heat up the cannabis product to develop a vapor. It doesn’t get hot enough cause combustion so you are no longer inhaling carbon monoxide. When using a vaporaizer, you will feel the onset just as fast as smoking.

Edibles: In case you love food, edible medical marijuana might be a great choice for you. You are able to find edible medical cannabis in nearly every form, from snacks to gum. You will have to wait longer to feel the effects though. It may take anywhere from 45 mintues to 2 hours to feel pain relief. For somebody in pain, that wait could be unbearable. The advantage is how long the effects last, around from 6-8 hours. Pain relief lasts longer with edibles than with smoking or vaporizing. You might try smoking or vaping for immediate relief while you wait for your edibles to take over for lasting relief.

Topical: Another choice to consider for neuropathy medical marijuana therapy is a topical application. This strategy enables you to apply medical cannabis to a specific region, which is really helpful if you are feeling the neuropathic pain in one particular location of the body of yours.

I HAVE A QUALIFYING CONDITION, NOW WHAT?

GATHER YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS

You will need your medical records for a qualifying condition for your appointment.  If you need helping obtaining your medical records, just let us know.  We can help get them from your primary care physician.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

You can book your appointment online for a time and day that works best for you.  Its that easy.

VISIT WITH OUR DOCTOR

 At your appointment one of our physicians will review your medical history and determine if you qualify for Missouri’s medical marijuana program.  If approved, you will receive a physician certification form that you will upload to the state’s Patient Registry website.