Medical professionals understand that peripheral neuropathy causes severe symptoms in many patients, including pain, numbness, and weakness that detract from a person’s quality of life. Where addictive painkillers are an unsuitable choice, people turn to something alternative such as medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana has a positive effect on patients suffering from neuropathic pain, and more and more studies are showing that this treatment method can provide meaningful relief.
In an effort to find an adequate source of relief for neuropathic pain patients, medical researchers have begun testing the healing effects of medical marijuana.
For example, The Center for Pain Medicine at the University of California in San Diego initiated a study to examine the effects of medical cannabis on chronic pain, specifically neuropathy.
Several randomized controlled trials tested the effects on patients from varying backgrounds, and medical marijuana showed itself a viable treatment for chronic nerve pain in most of these participants.
Medical marijuana helps patients manage chronic pain in small doses, but curing the condition requires addressing the underlying issues. It may be an injury or infection causing chronic pain, but unfortunately, a cure is not always apparent.
In the meantime, managing or reducing the pain and inflammation can help the body heal and restore some quality of life.
The primary advantage of medical marijuana on neuropathic pain is the ability for patients to control their pain symptoms with minimal side effects.
However, there are several other benefits of using medical marijuana for neuropathic pain including:
These impressive medical effects mean that many states are starting to treat chronic pain with medical cannabis, and the benefits continue to become apparent.
The body’s peripheral system is the main communication pathway between the brain, the spine, and the rest of the body.
Damage to these nerves results in a painful chronic condition called peripheral neuropathy, which often means that pain flares up without warning.
Neuropathic pain most often occurs with:
About one in every five Americans suffer from this common condition, typically experiencing burning sensations or sharp pains that happen periodically.
These pains can occur at any location in the body, without warning, and the neuropathic pain tends to worsen over time.
It is vital for patients to find effective treatments to alleviate pain and reduce other symptoms, and one option is medical marijuana for neuropathic pain.
Medical marijuana consists of a series of compounds called cannabinoids (CBD). The brain and peripheral system contain natural cannabinoid receptors that bind with these marijuana-derived compounds.
When this occurs, the body’s cannabinoid receptors regulate the central nervous system, reducing inflammation and pain.
Every patient experiences different symptoms based on the severity of their condition, but common symptoms of neuropathy issues include:
One of the most ubiquitous forms of neuropathy is multiple sclerosis or MS. This disease affects the brain and spinal cord, leading to decreased or uncontrollable motor functions.
Treatments vary depending on the form and severity of a patient’s neuropathic pain. Traditionally, doctors will recommend antidepressants and topical medications such as muscle relaxants to reduce pain.
Other drugs such as anticonvulsants reduce symptoms, while antidiabetics suit those with diabetes-related neuropathy.
Physicians can sometimes eliminate neuropathic pain with invasive surgery. For example, neuropathy caused by a severe injury often benefits from surgical repair. However, many neuropathy medications come with a variety of side effects, including:
These side effects are a compelling motivation to seek alternatives, like medical marijuana for neuropathy pain in Louisiana and nationwide.
Louisiana patients with a qualifying medical condition and a certificate from a licensed doctor can apply for a Louisiana medical marijuana card. In 1991, Act No. 874 made it legal for patients to access medical marijuana for chronic conditions with an open recommendation from their doctor.
The state does not require patients to carry a physical medical marijuana card—the name on their medication acts as legal proof. Pharmacies keep comprehensive records to ensure validity and dispense the correct treatment, including medical marijuana.
Aside from its lack of long-term symptoms, medical cannabis can give neuropathy patients effective relief from chronic pain, and that seems worth a look.