There are several ways that you can treat the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. Most men and women who suffer from arthritis on a daily basis use non-opioid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or Acetaminophen. While these can be effective for relieving pain, they can cause a host of undesirable side-effects and should not be used for a prolonged period of time.
Then there is the option of using opioid drugs, which can be highly useful for relieving intolerable and severe pain. However, patients who use opioid pain-relieving medications need higher doses over time in order to continue to benefit from their pain-relieving effects. Addiction to opioids can easily become a major problem when higher doses are taken on a continual level. This terrible addiction has taken millions of lives in the United States alone. Medical cannabis is another alternative that has been applied successfully to relieve this level of pain.
How Does Cannabis Relieve Pain?
The cannabis plant contains chemical compounds that have been shown to relieve severe pain as well as decrease anxiety levels. Cannabinoids are the active chemicals found in marijuana that have been proven, through clinical trials, to relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis. Also known as and marketed as CBD, cannabinoids can relieve the pain in your joints and muscles because of the way they affect neurotransmitters in the brain.
It's surprising to most people who hear that the brain produces its own forms of cannabinoids that directly influence the areas in the brain that regulate pain, pleasure and emotions. When cannabinoids are taken into the body, they attach themselves to the cannabinoids that the brain naturally produces, increasing their power. This calms the areas of the brain associated with sensations, and a significant reduction of pain in the joints is almost immediately felt as a result.
CBD, when taken in the form of CBD oil, does not have the pleasant, mind-altering qualities that smoking marijuana does. It's the THC in marijuana that produces the high that most smokers of marijuana desire. Nonetheless, these same qualities are available in cannabis whether you smoke it or not. There are several ways of consuming medical cannabis in order to benefit from its pain-relieving effects on the body:
- Cannabis edibles
- Tinctures or sprays
- Transdermal patches
- Topical ointments and creams
- Ingesting by mouth
- Cannabis teas
It doesn't matter which one of these ways you choose -- that’s a matter of individual preference. The idea is to get enough of the CBD into your system so it can be absorbed by receptors in the brain. Usually, adults who use cannabis for pain relief have to experiment a little to find out which method works best for them.
The legalization of cannabis in many states around the country has opened the door to more research studies concerning its health benefits. In the past, only recreational users seemed to appreciate the calming effects of this plant. Nowadays, millions of men and women who once looked down at anyone who consumed it find themselves thankful for the positive effects it has on their painful arthritis symptoms.