How Cannabinoids Manage Pain
Each of us has encountered various types of pain and probably more than once.
For some - luckily - it’s a rare occurrence while for others it’s a frequent or even constant thing. Pain as such can be divided into several types based on its origin and other features. Here are some of them - Chronic Pain, Glutamate induced pain, Neuropathic Pain, Peripheral pain response, Spasm, Writhe, Mechanical hyperalgesia.
There are numerous different ways to combat and manage pain. The first thing that comes to mind for most people is pills and other pharmaceuticals. But there are plenty of alternative options such as Chinese herbs, dietary supplements and so on. Today we will talk about a more modern and innovative way - medical marijuana. It might not be that innovative though, since the use of marijuana for medical purposes had been recorded as far back as ancient Egypt, but rapid spread of medicinal use of cannabis in the US has been seen over the past decade or so.
The main active substance from all cannabinoids contained in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. To better understand how cannabinoids affect the body and help with pain, you first need to understand what is pain and how does it come about.
Pain is perceived by certain receptors with the signal then transmitted through the nervous system to the brain, which recognizes the location and the strength of the pain stimulus, and subsequently instructs the body to get rid of the stimulus.
Cannabis can relieve the symptoms of neuropathic pain. The latter type is not caused by physical damage, but is a result of a pathological excitation of nerve fibers in the peripheral or central nervous system, responsible for the reaction to physical bodily harm.
What does marijuana do to relieve your pain?
The endocannabinoid system has two receptors - CB1 and CB2. Each receptor reacts to various cannabinoids, but some cannabinoids can interact with both. The distribution of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body and the brain explains why cannabinoids have certain effects.
CB1 receptors are found throughout the body, but are mainly present in the brain and spinal cord. They are concentrated in areas of the brain associated with behavior that is affected.
CB2 receptors are usually found in the peripheral nervous system and are particularly concentrated in immune cells. When CB2 receptors are activated, they help to relieve inflammation. Inflammation is an immune system’s response that plays a key role in many diseases and conditions.
As for cannabinoids found in cannabis, researchers found that THC contacts CB1 and CB2 receptors, activating them in the same way as endocannabinoids.
CBD does not directly contact cannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD works by inhibiting the enzyme called FAAH (Fatty acid amide hydrolase), which is responsible for the breakdown of anandamide, the most important endocannabinoid in the body. When FAAH is inhibited, it can not break down anandamide at a normal rate. This leads to an accumulation of anandamide in the brain.
Due to its natural composition and overall positive effect on the body, marijuana is an effective and reliable means for managing and getting rid of a great variety of pain types. Perhaps it is time you tried a different way of fighting pain and visit a Medical Marijuana Doctor to get a simpler and alternative treatment.
And by the way, we have an article on the subject of Medical Patient privileges, loyalty programs and other good reasons why you should think about getting your MED card.
What are the side effects of cannabis consumption for pain management?
Commonly observed side effects of cannabis include fatigue, dizziness, and dry mouth. Nevertheless, the side effects quickly disappear with tolerance increase. It’s also important to note that with the therapeutic use of cannabinoids, withdrawal symptoms are extremely rare.
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