Using Medical Cannabis to Treat the Top 4 Conditions: Anxiety, Insomnia, Chronic Pain, and Arthritis
Cannabis is being used across the country to improve the quality of life, restore balance, and increase performance for millions of Americans battling conditions of anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and arthritis.
- Anxiety, noun, – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
In healthy amounts, anxiety is a useful and healthy emotion. Categorized as a mental health condition, the symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, worry, fear, and apprehension. In competition, daily endeavors, and in fight or flight situations, a healthy level of anxiety helps us choose the appropriate response.
However, in disproportionate amounts, anxiety becomes debilitating as it interferes with our daily functions. Untreated, it can hinder performance in every aspect of our lives.
The American Psychological Association (APA) describes a person with an anxiety disorder as having “recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns” that interfere with the individual’s daily functions.
These anxiety disorders lead to a diminished sense of well-being, elevated rates of unemployment, relationship breakdowns, elevated risks of depression, substance abuse, and suicide.
Common Symptoms Among All Anxiety Disorders:
- Increased Irritability
- Concentration Difficulties
- Restlessness or a feeling of being ‘On Edge.’
- Uncontrollable Feelings of Worry
- Sleep Difficulties (Falling or Staying Asleep)
Traditionally treated with a wide array of pharmaceuticals, patients with disproportionate levels of anxiety have and continue to praise Medical Cannabis (Cannabinoid Therapy) as an effective treatment to restore balance and productivity within their lives.
Various studies have shown that cannabis can help promote an increased sense of calm, improve relaxation, increase healthy sleep, reduce stress, regulate emotional processing, regulate mood, and stimulate appetite to restore balance within your body’s functioning.
With the wide-spread conviction in using medical cannabis as a tool to regulate anxiety levels and restore internal balance, there is an ever-increasing number of Americans turning to Medical Cannabis (Medical Marijuana) for relief.
We all experience pain at one point or another in our lives, but chronic pain is different. Chronic pain can persist for weeks, months, or even years after the initial injury.
With chronic pain, our bodies continue to send pain signals to our brains even after the injury heals. Many doctors define it as any pain that lasts longer than three months.
Chronic pain can have a serious flow-on effect into your life, disrupting both your professional and social life and wreaking havoc on your mental health.
- Types of Chronic Pain – Headache, Lower Back Pain, Arthritis Pain, Cancer Pain, Post-Trauma Pain, Post-Surgical Pain, Neurogenic Pain (nerve damage)
- Symptoms of Chronic Pain– Dull Ache, Throbbing, Burning, Shooting, Squeezing, Stinging, Soreness, Stiffness
- Effects of Chronic Pain – Chronic reduced flexibility, and limited mobility, strength, and endurance; making it challenging to get through daily tasks and activities.
Thousands of people have and continue to use medical cannabis to successfully treat chronic pain, largely in part for its potential to reduce opioid dose requirements. One of the distinct advantages of using cannabis over other pharmaceutical medications such as opioids is that it has no effect on your breathing modulation, therefore making it impossible to overdose.
A variety of different studies have shown the effectiveness of cannabis to assist with the treatment of difficult to treat chronic pain, which could allow you to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle.
“A Survey by the American Academy of Pain Medicine found that even comprehensive treatment with painkilling prescription drugs helps, on average, only about 58% of people with Chronic Pain.”
Often inadequately treated with available opiates, antidepressants and anticonvulsant drugs, physicians are seeking new approaches to the treatment of these conditions to include the integration of medical cannabis into current treatment programs.
Moreover, interest in the use of cannabis and cannabinoids to treat chronic non-cancer pain is increasing because of their ability to reduce opioid use.
Despite a lack of regulatory oversight by federal governments in North America, community-based medical cannabis dispensaries have proven successful at supplying patients with a safe source of cannabis within an environment conducive to healing and may be reducing the problematic use of pharmaceutical opiates and other potentially harmful substances in their communities.
Insomnia affects millions of Americans and can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and also cause you to wake up much earlier than you should.
People that have insomnia often suffer from common impairments including fatigue and malaise, memory and concentration difficulties, mood disturbances and irritability, and behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and aggression.
There are a number of studies that provide information on the ability of medical cannabis to help people restore natural sleep cycles and improve their quality of life.
Insomnia is defined as persistent difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, consolidation, or quality. It hinges on two essential components:
1. Sleep difficulties that occur despite adequate opportunities for normal sleep can be a result of the following:
- Health conditions
- Pharmaceutical medications that are taken
2. Daytime impairment that directly results from poor sleep quality or duration.
- Memory and concentration difficulties
- Mood disturbances and irritability
- Behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and aggression
Multiple studies have found that nightly sublingual administration of a cannabinoid extract is well tolerated and improves insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in individuals with chronic insomnia conditions.
Cannabis and Arthritis: Can it help?
Arthritis is a general term for more than 100 different conditions. All these conditions deal with some degree of swelling, pain, and stiffness.
Some types of arthritis can affect your body organs. Sadly, there is no cure for arthritis. The treatments at the hospital are only to reduce the symptoms and slow down the progress of the condition. While these pharmaceutical pills can relieve symptoms, they also come with severe side effects.
Medical marijuana is showing a lot of promise as a treatment for arthritis symptoms such as pain and muscle spasticity.
By using medical cannabis, patients may relieve joint pain, inflammation, muscle spasticity, and joint mobility issues. Cannabis is proving to be very effective in providing relief to these arthritic symptoms.
Can Medical Cannabis Reduce Arthritis Pain?
The human body has a complex network of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This biological system is essential in the functioning of many physiological processes, including pain sensation and mood.
While most cannabinoid receptors are in the brain and immune system, researchers have discovered many CB2 receptors in the joints of arthritis patients., which allows the phytocannabinoids within the cannabis plant to bind with the cannabinoid receptors within our bodies to help relieve pain, decrease inflammation, muscle spasticity, and fatigue as well as increase joint mobility.
The Benefits of cannabis for Arthritis
Animal research notes that cannabidiol (CBD) the primary therapeutic compound in cannabis offers antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. Consuming cannabis may reduce the signs and symptoms of arthritis.
- Pain reduction: The primary use of medical marijuana is to relieve pain. Recent studies note that 62.2 percent of adults who took marijuana for pain relief experienced some form of relief. Most adults will experience some form of pain as they age, and cannabis can help reduce this pain. Cannabis can limit joint pain from conditions like arthritis.
- Nerve Protectant: Surprisingly medical cannabis can also protect your nerves and reduce joint neuropathy. This makes it useful for conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
- Joint Support: Medical marijuana can help support the joints as well as reduce inflammation around your joints. This makes it useful for different types of arthritis.
Bottom line: Is cannabis effective?
Current studies show the usefulness/effectiveness of medical marijuana for arthritic pain, reducing inflammation, muscle spasticity, and fatigue; as well as increasing joint mobility.
The anecdotal responses of the patient community heavily favor the use of cannabis as a natural plant medicine to assist in providing relief to arthritic conditions.
Anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and arthritis are considered debilitating conditions when it hinders a person’s daily activities in any way. These conditions are the top 4 conditions patients seek medical cannabis for therapeutic and medicinal use.
This natural plant medicine can be integrated daily to increase your well-being without the many side effects and potency of traditional pharmaceuticals.
“Through personal experience and daily interaction with patients seeking medical cannabis for their debilitating conditions, I have personally seen the transformative powers of medical cannabis for those who have tried everything and have sought out cannabis as a last-resort (because of the stigma attached with its use). The integration of medical cannabis is a natural, holistic option that has become a ‘Game-Changer’ for patients within these communities.”
– Gary Hess, CEO – Veterans Alliance for Holistic Alternatives.