In the United States, more people are afflicted with chronic pain than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. This is alarming, considering that many of these same people also depend on addictive pain medications to get through their day. If you’re one of the millions of adults who endure pain each day, and you still haven’t found long-term relief, it may be time to consider medical marijuana.
In today’s world dominated by prescription medications, medical marijuana has increased in popularity as an alternative pain-relief method. Our team of skilled pain management physicians at Metro Pain and Vein Centers, with locations in New York and New Jersey, often recommend medical marijuana for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects on chronic pain.
Before becoming mainstream, medical marijuana was often surrounded by stigma. However, its positive, evidence-based effects on pain are undeniable. You may be surprised to learn that the biggest use of marijuana in the US is to treat chronic pain; it’s not simply for recreational use. In fact, 62% of people who use medical marijuana use it for their chronic pain.
Marijuana naturally contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When taken orally, topically, or inhaled, THC triggers the natural chemicals in your body and brain that decrease pain and inflammation — your natural cannabinoid receptors. As a result, your perception of pain is altered, so you may feel more relaxed and experience less discomfort from chronic pain and inflammation that is common with conditions such as:
The use of marijuana (cannabis) for medical purposes dates back to 2900 BC in China, so it’s not a new discovery, but rather an ancient medical practice for a variety of health conditions. Early in 19th century Europe and America, doctors researched and published over 100 publications about the uses and effects of medical marijuana. In more recent history, many more studies and clinical trials indicate that medical marijuana is an effective pain therapy.
If you suffer from chronic pain, and you don’t want to depend on prescription pain medications like opioids, medical marijuana may help you decrease your dependence or eliminate the need for these addictive painkillers.
When you schedule an evaluation at one of the nine Metro Pain and Vein Centers in Clifton, Middletown, Riverdale, Edison, and Jersey City, New Jersey; or Staten Island, Poughkeepsie, and Ardsley, New York, your medical team determines if you’re in good overall health and have the type of chronic pain condition that may benefit from medical marijuana.
If you’re a good candidate for this alternative pain-relief therapy, your pain specialist helps you through the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card in your home state, since the requirements are different in New York and New Jersey.
It’s important to note that medical marijuana can be an effective alternative to addictive opioid pain medications. Opioids often come with significant, unpleasant side effects and miserable withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, the American opioid epidemic results in thousands of opioid-related overdoses that end in death each year.
When you can reduce your chronic symptoms without becoming addicted to painkillers, you can improve your quality of life in so many ways. Medical marijuana may make it possible for you to participate in the activities you enjoy or do your job more easily. When you take the focus off of your chronic pain, it’s often amazing how much easier it is to perform daily tasks and live your life to the fullest.
To learn more about medical marijuana and its beneficial effects on chronic pain, call the Metro Pain and Vein Centers location closest to you, or request an appointment using our online booking system.