Why Chronic Pain Sufferers are Turning to Cannabis

Why Chronic Pain Sufferers are Turning to Cannabis

Pain is a huge global health problem. Worldwide, it is estimated that about 1 in 5, or 1.5 billion people experience pain, whilst 1 in 10 adults are diagnosed with chronic pain each year (1). Chronic pain can seriously impact quality of life and is associated with depression, an inability to work, disrupted social relationships and suicidal thoughts. Use of opioids to treat debilitating chronic pain has skyrocketed in the Global North over the past decades, bringing with it a growing concern over increasing numbers of opioid dependents. The search for alternative effective treatments for chronic pain that carry less risks, and for treatments that might help pain patients taper down their use of opioids, has thrown cannabis into the spotlight. Cannabis and Pain Relief Cannabis is well known for its analgesic properties among cannabis users, although there is still little consensus over the efficacy of cannabinoids for chronic pain among the scientific community. We know that the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the transmission of pain signals. Activation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1) can block neurotransmitter release, preventing the activation of pain signalling. CB2 receptor activation is associated with quelling the immune system’s response, thus reducing inflammatory pain (2). Because of its activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors, science has had its sights set on THC as the pain reliever. More recently, anecdotal evidence for the role of CBD and other cannabinoids in pain relief is growing, but their mechanisms of action are less clear. A scientific…

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Source : seedman
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