Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Pain is Not your Friend
Pain is a guest you cannot wait to kick out of the house. Unfortunately, pain is a part of living and when it becomes intense or chronic, it can quickly decay the quality of life you live. Whether it be from hard or laborious work, injury, or aging, lasting physical pains for a lot of West Virginians means prescription pain killers.
Pain killers actually have little to no healing properties, often only managing, numbing, or blocking our ability to perceive the pain that is there. Basically, temporarily altering the way your brain reacts to pain. Typically the pain subsides with these mechanisms, but then comes back and increases over time causing the amounts of drugs needed to deal with pain to increase to a level where it can become its own added health issue.
How Medical Cannabis can Help
The main difference in pain management between typical pain meds/opioids and Medical Cannabis is that cannabis is not just here to mask your pain. Cannabis has the potential to heal your body and brain overtime and improve quality of life overall. By harnessing the primary functions of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), Cannabis medicine promotes healing in the body through a process called homeostasis – aka restoring the body’s natural balance.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is the largest system in the human body regarding the regulation of natural things like sleep, hunger, mood, memory, pain, inflammation, hydration, and many functions of the immune system. Medical Cannabis can interact with the ECS in many ways to help tune-up our bodies healing properties so we can improve our quality of life.
Regarding pain specifically, Cannabis can interact with nerve cells, muscle cells, and neurotransmitters (brain cells) by interacting with our cellular receptors like CB1 and CB2. This means by using medical cannabis, a patient can potentially reduce their pain through several channels while boosting immune system functions and elevating their mood. It can also assist in other symptom relief and help to increase appetite – things that many patients who struggle with pain management need.
What About Chronic or Intense Pain?
It may be hard to imagine Medical Cannabis creating the same depth of relief as the strongest painkillers (Oxycontin, Fentanyl, Morphine), but there are Cannabis extracts that can create intense effects in the deepest regions of our minds and bodies that can even provide better relief. Cannabis products like Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), and other formulas can have durations that exceed 6 hours of relief allowing patients to receive longer, more intense healing/relief by taking less medicine with little to no side effects!
There are even situations where Medical Cannabis can help other medications work better, by potentially reducing the side effects or by boosting the primary effects of the drug itself which can help patients to lower the dosage they are taking, or potentially get off of the other pain killers altogether.
Getting Started with the WV MedCan Program
By understanding the variety of ways Medical Cannabis can help achieve greater health, West Virginians can now explore the wide potential of healing in their bodies and communities. The variety in Medical Cannabis is its strength, and patients can decide how they prefer to consume their medicine – Inhale through the lungs for fast relief, digest in the stomach for longer effects, utilize topical products to treat from the outside in, and even sublingual formulas for quicker absorption under the tongue!
The world of cannabis is just beginning to become introduced into West Virginia, and it will be constantly growing to offer countless possibilities to those who need it.
Ready for next steps? Check out our patient page here to learn more about qualifications for the WV Medical Cannabis Program.
Ready to register now? Visit the WV Department of Health portal to get started here.