Treating pain with cannabis

A balance of THC and CBD is better for long-term care

Cannabis is often used to alleviate pain. Pain can be caused by a variety of issues, making it a bit of a challenge to choose the right cannabis product. It is helpful to know which cannabinoids have proven to treat specific types of pain. There is nociceptive pain, neuropathic pain and central pain and each type has a unique treatment strategy. It is possible to have an injury yet experience little to no pain. It’s also possible to have no injury and yet suffer pain. The body’s endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors that communicate signals to the brain. The brain decides the strength of pain sensation. The active compounds in cannabis, such as THC, bind to those receptors and can influence the messages that are sent to the brain. Nociceptive pain is the result of tissue damage and described as sharp, throbbing or aching pain caused by physical damage. The injured tissues reach out to inflammatory and immune cells to make repairs. These cells activate receptors on nerves that travel to the brain and cause the sensation of pain. Both THC and CBD can prove helpful. THC works to activate CB2 receptors in the immune system to lessen both pain and inflammation. CBD works by blocking inflammatory mediators and activating repair strategies. Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to the body’s nervous system. The pain is described as pinching and stabbing. An over-activation of CB1 receptors due to high THC content can be problematic. A balance of THC and CBD is better for long-term care. Central pain can be difficult to treat because it often lacks a known cause. CBD- dominant products offer a helpful, long-term treatment and relief from chronic pain.


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