Chronic pain is an epidemic in America. A study of 39 states found that more than 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. The average person spends between $15,000 and $20,000 on healthcare and prescription medications annually to treat their painful condition. Treating chronic pain has become a big business. There are over 14 billion opioid prescriptions dispensed every year in the United States at a cost of $55 billion. This number may actually be higher because many people who take opioids for their chronic pain don’t get prescriptions from their doctors.
If you or someone you love experiences chronic pain, then this article is for you! We’ll explore the benefits of medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain that could save your life.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is a difficult condition that many people live with for years. It’s a long-term, often unrelenting pain that doesn’t go away with time. Chronic pain can be caused by injuries, illnesses, or conditions.
In America alone, there are over 100 million people living with chronic pain every day. Many of these individuals also take prescription medications on a daily basis to help manage their symptoms. The cost of treating chronic pain in America is an estimated $55 billion annually and more than 14 billion opioid prescriptions are dispensed each year.
Chronic pain affects more of the population than diabetes or heart disease does and it’s not going away anytime soon. However, there are ways to treat it including medical marijuana which we’ll explore in detail below…
The Cost of Chronic Pain
America is the most expensive healthcare system in the world. An average family spends $10,000 on healthcare per year. Healthcare costs are expected to rise by at least 5% every year.
The cost of traditional prescription medications is very expensive. Opioids, which are prescribed for chronic pain, cost about $17 a pill or more than $1,000 a month. Non-opioid treatments can be just as expensive. For example, Lyrica, a popular medication for nerve pain, is listed at approximately $400 per month without insurance coverage.
In comparison, medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain is much cheaper and healthier over time because it doesn’t have the side effects that come with opioids or other prescription drugs like antidepressants or anticonvulsants that have been linked to suicide attempts and addiction problems.
The Benefits of Medical Marijuana in Treating Chronic Pain
Medical marijuana has often been used as an alternative treatment for chronic pain. But the benefits of using medical marijuana to treat chronic pain are much more than just a placebo effect. Studies show that cannabinoids like THC and CBD provide relief from nausea, inflammation, anxiety, cancer-related pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and many other conditions.
The science behind medical marijuana is fascinating. The human body contains an endocannabinoid system that regulates mood, sleep, memory, appetite, immune function, and pain perception. When THC enters the system it activates these receptors to produce a variety of therapeutic effects. Not only does it help regulate feelings of anxiety and depression but it also suppresses vomiting and nausea while suppressing muscle spasms.
Medical cannabis provides relief for chronic pain in a way that opioids do not. Opioids are highly addictive with dangerous side effects including slowed breathing rates and impaired cognitive functioning. They’re also responsible for thousands of deaths every year due to overdose or abuse. Unlike opioids that suppress your entire central nervous system which can lead to dependency or addiction, cannabis works differently by only affecting certain parts of the brain reducing the risk of dependency or addiction while still relieving pain effectively.
Why Medical Marijuana is a Better Option for Treating Chronic Pain Than Opioids
Medical marijuana has been proven to be an effective treatment for chronic pain. It’s not addictive, it can be used as a substitute for opioids, and it doesn’t have the same harmful side effects.
The benefits of medical marijuana aren’t just anecdotal – studies show that medical marijuana can reduce opioid abuse and reduce opioid addiction rates by up to 64 percent. Research also shows that states with legal access to medical cannabis experience 25% fewer opioid overdose deaths than those without.
The FDA recently approved a drug called Epidiolex which is an oral solution made from purified cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The FDA’s decision was based on three randomized clinical trials which concluded that CBD significantly reduced chronic pain in adults who had multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms at the end of their 10-week treatment.
It’s time we start talking about this issue and find solutions before more lives are lost.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card from Your Doctor
In order to be eligible for a medical marijuana card, you must have a qualifying condition.
Getting a medical marijuana card from your doctor is easy and straightforward. You can find and contact doctors who offer evaluations and recommendations for medical marijuana on Weedmaps.com.
You’ll need to visit the doctor’s office and go through their evaluation process to receive a recommendation letter. With this recommendation letter, you’re ready to apply for your Florida Medical Marijuana Card.
We can see that medical marijuana is an option for chronic pain relief and could provide life-changing treatment. It’s important to explore all possible avenues when considering treatment options.