Pain, temporary or chronic, is debilitating and can reduce quality and enjoyment of life. To dull the pain, some turn to opioids. While this approach may be effective in the short-term, its use over the long-term brings a host of problems, making opioids a poor option for treating chronic pain.
Given the expense of prescription opioids, the tendency for physical dependency (addiction), dangerous withdrawals, suppression of the cardiovascular system, and that overdose of them is the number one cause of death in the United States. We are lucky to have another option in cannabis.
Chemotherapy has been used to treat cancer for decades. It takes a heavy mental and physical toll and can make it difficult to maintain a strong body during and post treatment. Cannabis is a great way to improve comfort by suppressing nausea and pain. Cannabis also stimulates appetite, keeping the patient strong during the treatment and helping them heal afterwards. Cannabis aids recovery by improving mood and assisting sleep. Chemotherapy is often a necessary evil when treating stubborn diseases but it can be a better experience with the help of cannabis.
Epilepsy And Seizures
Cannabis contains compounds that can reduce tremors and in some cases eliminate them entirely. THC and CBD are the most commonly known cannabis compounds and both have positive effects on seizures. THC can suppress seizures in their intensity and frequency but has the side effect of euphoria. CBD is more commonly known for treating seizures, has little to no psychoactive effect and is more effective than THC at lessening the frequency and duration of seizures. The combination of the two compounds along with another compound called THC-A can increase the effectiveness even more but the patient may have to deal with psychoactive effects.
As with most drugs, tolerance will build lessening the drug's effectiveness over time, but patients tend to build up a tolerance for prescription anti-seizure drugs faster than cannabis, and the side effects of those drugs are far more serious than those of cannabis.
Alzheimer's and Dementia
Cannabis can improve patient symptoms in the early stages of brain degenerating disease. However, cannabis can also make symptoms of anxiety and paranoia worse, so consult with your physician before using cannabis as a treatment.
Cannabis is a neuroprotectant and researchers think cannabis has legitimate potential to protect the brain from degenerating diseases like alzheimer’s and dementia. Unfortunately experiments have only been performed on mice due to cannabis being listed as a Schedule 1 drug with “no medicinal properties.”
As with many diseases, cannabis does not provide a cure but it can make living with the disease much more bearable. Fibromyalgia causes intense pain, which creates additional stress leading to negative moods resulting in sleeplessness. Cannabis can substantially reduce pain, lower anxiety and improve mood with its euphoric effects.
Cannabis is an excellent sleep aid without the negative side effects of drugs like Ambien (zolpidem) and does not suppress the function of the heart or lungs like most prescription and even over the counter drugs, eliminating risk of death from overdose.
Treatment for HIV/AIDS has come a long way, but for many sufferers treatments can be very taxing physically and mentally. HIV/AIDS patients tend to deteriorate due to a lack of appetite and inability to sleep. Cannabis is an excellent appetite stimulator.
The tide is turning. A majority of Americans think cannabis should be legal and our laws, state by state, are starting to accomplish this. But millions are still denied access, or languish in prisons, due to antiquated laws that hurt rather than help us.
Do your part to help these fellow citizens and show the world how cannabis should be managed, with education, understanding and compassion:
- Support The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 and/or The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017
- Ask Your Congressional Representative To Join the Cannabis Caucus
- Support the Amendment To Expand Veterans’ Access to Medical Marijuana