Now accepting Telehealth appointments.

Medical Marijuana: An Alternative Treatment for Chronic Pain

Table of Contents

  1. Marijuana as Medical Treatment
  2. What is Medical Marijuana?
  3. What are CBD and THC?
  4. Medical Marijuana vs. Opioids for Chronic Pain
  5. Is Medical Marijuana Legal?
  6. How Do You Get Medical Marijuana?
  7. The Best Medical Marijuana Doctor for Chronic Pain


Marijuana as Medical Treatment

Medical marijuana treatment is getting more mainstream. Its popularity surges as it is an effective alternative to traditional medicine for chronic pain. It eases a lot of types of chronic pain, such as inflammation and nerve damage. Chronic pain affects people suffering from one or more chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It is also a common cause of long-term disability in the United States of America and a growing common issue. According to the 2016 report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 20% or almost 50 million Americans suffering from chronic pain. Despite the anecdotal evidence that shows the effectiveness of cannabis as a pain-reliever, most marijuana-based products have no approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for it still needs more evidence to prove its safety and efficacy. However, statistics state that there are 86% of Adults in the United States that use Medical Marijuana for chronic pain. This article will discuss how medical marijuana helps in chronic pain.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana, scientifically known as medical cannabis, refers to the therapeutic use of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Marijuana plants have more than 100 different compounds of cannabinoids. However, cannabidiol (CBD) and Delta-90tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the main compounds in medical marijuana. Medical professionals and scientists study the plants’ properties and chemicals to treat diseases, conditions, and chronic pain. They saw the promising potential to relieve pain than its common use as recreational.

What are CBD and THC?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a marijuana compound that is not psychoactive. It does not change behavior, awareness, mindfulness, thoughts, and mood. It also does not affect the chemical properties of the brain. It is where most of the medical benefits of marijuana originate.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive marijuana compound. It is responsible for the “high” sensation that people feel or experience when they smoke marijuana or eat a marijuana-induced food. The Food and Drugs Administration approves two synthetic drugs of THC, dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). It helps prevent dizziness, nausea, and vomiting for people undergoing chemotherapy.

The equal ratio of the combination of THC and CBD called Nabiximols (Sativex) is an approved drug in the UK and parts of Europe. It helps in treating overactive bladders, spasticity, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and chronic pain.

Medical Marijuana vs. Opioids for Chronic Pain

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose is still the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. Seventy percent of the cases involve prescribed or illicit opioids. The National Institute of Drug Abuse also declared a significant rise in the number of drug overdose deaths involving opioids. The report shows 18,515 deaths in 2007 to 47,600 deaths in 2017, before declining to 46,802 in 2018.

The statistics show an alarming rate of drug abuse on pain relievers, especially on opioids. It pushes the medical community to seek out alternative treatments and drugs for chronic pain. There is a lot to uncover and evidence to search for the potential of medical cannabis in treating chronic pain to make it legal to all states and maybe to the rest of the world.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal?

Marijuana is legal in 11 states, and medical marijuana is legal in 33 states. The First Amendment protects medical professionals to recommend marijuana as a treatment in any state. The United States Supreme Court established the decision in 2004 that doctors have the constitutional right to discuss treatment options to their patients freely. Medical professionals and their patients should also be familiar with the rules, laws, and regulations on medical cannabis. They need to be aware of whether medical marijuana is legal or not in the state they’re in. For states where medical cannabis is illegal, there are existing court rulings that protect medical professionals from a lawsuit. Some states will not allow the prescription of cannabis. However, medical cannabis can be recommended for treatment without any legal jeopardy as a contention to it means a violation of the First Amendment.

How Do You Get Medical Marijuana?

You can find medical marijuana in states where it is legal. It is commonly sold at shops called dispensaries, where it is sold in different forms. There are edible forms of marijuana, like candies and cookies. There are also oils and extracts. However, dispensaries will require a medical marijuana treatment card before you can purchase one. The marijuana card differs in requirements per state. However, it will always need a prescription from a licensed physician.

The Best Medical Marijuana Doctor for Chronic Pain

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain is prevalent in America, with an estimated 20.4% of the population having chronic pain and 8.0% having high-impact chronic pain. You might be one of them, who should you turn to?

Dr. Ronak Patel is the right medical marijuana doctor for you. He specializes in treating back pain, neck pain, joint pain, facial pain, and cancer-related pain. He acquired advanced skills in the innovative spinal cord and peripheral nerve interventions/ablation, fracture repair through vertebral augmentation, state-of-the-art regenerative therapy, and both ultrasound-guided and x-ray guided procedures while training with the leaders of pain management in the country. His goal is to bring expert, comprehensive, safe, and effective pain care to as many patients as possible.

Book your appointment now!

Dr. Ronak Patel is the founder and medical director of Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute. He is a double board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist that provides professional services in New Jersey with service areas that include PrincetonPlainsboro TownshipHamilton TownshipWest Windsor TownshipRobbinsville Township, and Manalapan.

You may schedule a meeting at any of the Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute clinics for the treatment of back pain, neck pain, joint pain, facial pain as well as cancer-related pain. Their focus is on developing inpidualized patient treatment plans and increasing patient functionality.


Disclaimer: Information on this website is not intended to be used in place of your professional medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding the Causes of Pinched Nerves

While pinched nerves are common, they can cause numerous issues in your body. Once you understand how they develop, you can help prevent or avoid them altogether. Keep reading to learn more.

What to Do If You Have Whiplash

If you suffered an injury and now have neck pain and stiffness, it could be whiplash — which shouldn’t be ignored. Learn to recognize the symptoms of whiplash and find treatment to relieve your pain.

Are You a Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy?

Do you have a disease or an injury that affects your quality of life? Stem cell therapy might be the answer to help heal your body. Find out more about how it works and if it’s right for you.