Can cannabis be used for pain relief?
Cannabis contains several compounds, many of which are beneficial to the human body. The most abundant of these in the cannabis plant is known as cannabidiol (or CBD). When ingested, CBD can have a variety of welcome effects on the body. In fact, thousands of people in the UK use medicinal cannabis for pain relief on a daily basis – however, it is important to understand the difference between medicinal and recreational cannabis.
Medicinal cannabis for pain versus recreational cannabis
Medicinal cannabis for pain relief is completely legal in the United Kingdom, with some caveats. It must be manufactured in accordance with current legislation, and must not contain detectable amounts of THC.
What is THC
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound within the cannabis plant that is associated with causing intoxication or producing a “high”. In the UK, tetrahydrocannabinol is a controlled substance, which means it cannot be sold legally.
While medicinal cannabis products might contain trace amounts of THC, these trace amounts cannot produce a “high” and are therefore deemed legal and medically safe. Put simply, medicinal cannabis for pain relief does not contain THC, whereas recreational (illegal) cannabis does.
How does medicinal cannabis work to combat pain?
Several studies have identified that both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system are home to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are also found in the sensory nerves, indicating that the body’s endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the regulation of pain.
Cannabis is thought to not only modulate pain in the nervous system but through other tissues. It also has the ability to influence inflammatory responses, making it a great choice for those suffering from arthritis or nerve pain.
By definition, a chronic illness is a condition in which symptoms persist for twelve weeks or more. If you suffer from chronic inflammation, you should consult your GP – although medicinal cannabis could be a natural way to help improve your condition. In fact, many patients choose to use medicinal cannabis for pain relief instead of opioids, as it is non-addictive and puts less strain on the body’s organs.
Research has demonstrated that <a href=”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/”>CBD is associated with a reduction of inflammatory markers</a>. This makes medicinal cannabis an ideal natural remedy for chronic inflammation.
Can medicinal cannabis be prescribed?
In the UK, very few people are likely to be prescribed medicinal cannabis for pain. At present, it is only prescribed to patients with rare forms of epilepsy, patients with stiffness/spasms caused by MS, and patients suffering severe vomiting/nausea caused by chemotherapy.
However, the good news is that you don’t need a prescription to enjoy the benefits of medicinal cannabis. It is completely legal to purchase CBD products in the UK, and thousands of people use cannabis to alleviate symptoms of physical pain such as arthritis and sciatica on a daily basis.
For more information on the health benefits of medicinal cannabis, or to arrange an online appointment with the London Cannabis Clinic, please do not hesitate to Contact The London Cannabis Clinic today. Our friendly and experienced team will be happy to answer any queries you may have and to recommend products based on your needs.