Modified on: 21/09/2022
Yes, this plant can be used as a painkiller
The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes was introduced in 2007, and since then, several doctors and patients have opted for this solution in response to specific pathologies. Among the primary uses of the derivatives of this plant in the medical field is the treatment of pain states due to temporary and chronic conditions. In addition, hemp is a valuable ally in pain therapy for patients suffering from incurable diseases.
But when can one rely on this therapeutic approach, and how does hemp help combat the pain? In the following lines, you will find out what beneficial properties of cannabis help treat pain and how it is administered.
What are the beneficial effects of cannabis, and for which diseases can it be prescribed?
In our country, patients cannot independently decide to take cannabis for pain treatment but need a doctor’s prescription. Moreover, the use of hemp derivatives for therapeutic reasons is regulated; therefore, doctors and patients can only decide to start cannabis therapy in situations that justify it medically and scientifically. Among the conditions for which it may be taken free of charge are states of muscular, joint, and neurogenic pain, for which other types of therapy have proved inadequate.
Cannabis can also be prescribed with an SSN (National Health Service) prescription for patients suffering from:
- multiple sclerosis;
- cachexia and anorexia;
- Tourette’s syndrome;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- curative therapies for HIV or cancer.
But why is cannabis used to relieve physical pain? Well, this ability is closely related to the properties of the phytocannabinoids in their chemical structure; these molecules – in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – interact with the endocannabinoid system, the biological system that regulates the body’s primary functions. By interacting with the receptors of this system (which are present not only in the central nervous system but also in various organs and peripheral nerve endings), these substances generate a relaxing and analgesic reaction, cancelling or diminishing the perception of pain.
Of course, the decision to resort to such a method is influenced by the cause of a patient’s pathological state and other aspects.
What contraindications taking cannabis for pain may have?
The intake of cannabis may give rise to invasive and, depending on the case, dangerous reactions. Moreover, as well as relaxing, the substances in cannabis can have side effects such as:
- dryness of the eyes and mouth;
- muscle weakness.
As you can imagine, in individuals with such reactions, the ratio of the sought-after benefits to the negative consequences would not yield a positive result. Therefore, assuming that the side effects of cannabis may vary from person to person depending on both dosage and tolerance, doctors tend to discourage the use of cannabis therapy in younger patients and adults with:
- severe liver failure;
- cardiovascular disorders;
- previous history of drug dependence;
- psychiatric problems.
Apart from all this, however, each situation is evaluated individually. Sometimes, it is possible to limit side effects by opting for light hemp (if the pain disorder can only be treated effectively with CBD). But now, let us see how medical cannabis is administered.
Hemp drops, infusions and vapours: how medical cannabis is taken
When talking about the intake of cannabis for medicinal purposes, one thing must be made clear right away: it is not taken through combustion. After all, wouldn’t it be absurd to be told by one’s doctor that to cope with chronic pain, one could give cannabis a try? Furthermore, the administration of medical cannabis does not include smoking but rather other methods.
Patients following this type of therapy take the active ingredients of cannabis orally or inhaled, using oil or preparations for infusion and vaporization. Hemp oil is used exclusively in a first way and can be efficiently dosed either sublingually or in drinks or food (the doctor determines how many drops per day should be used); medical marijuana, on the other hand, can be taken either orally or via the respiratory tract.
In the first case, a decoction is prepared according to the doctor’s doses, times and modalities. In contrast, in the second case, a vaporizer is used, which allows the herb to be heated, and the active ingredients of the cannabis to evaporate and be inhaled. Again, it is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.
In this article, you have confirmed the benefits of cannabis in treating pain. Remember, however, that you can only use it with a doctor’s prescription. Otherwise, you run serious risks. Furthermore, in Italy, cannabis cannot be taken for recreational purposes and cannot be cultivated or sold.
Weed seeds, however, can be freely bought and sold because there are no narcotics in them. However, if you have a passion for this plant and are thinking of buying cannabis seeds online, be aware that you will not be able to germinate them but can only use them for food or collecting purposes.
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