The Beginner’s Guide to Medical Marijuana for Pain

James Wilson
March 28, 2018
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Chronic pain conditions caused by tough industrial jobs are reaching epidemic levels in certain communities. These injuries are frequently severe enough to require treatment with over-prescribed opiates. These drugs are prescribed by overworked doctors who are struggling under lack of funding and wider support in impoverished communities. Over-prescription of opiate has grown to be a problem in the ‘Rust Belt’ of the USA, a region of Appalachia that is struggling under massive poverty and unemployment. This phenomenon has become an issue known as the opiate crisis

The roots of the opiates crisis can be traced back to the chronic injuries caused by the tough working conditions the people of the rust belt had to endure in various mining and industrial jobs. The huge lack of funding in this region led to a shortage of medical support and the few remaining doctors were quickly overwhelmed by the huge amount of demand they were put under. This eventually led to the crisis where doctors had no other option than to prescribe addictive opiates for nearly every problem; leading to the opiate crisis.

The central issue of the opiate crisis is the difficulty of effectively coping with chronic pain issues and injuries. A possible alternative to harmful opiates is medicinal marijuana. The active ingredients found in marijuana are part of a group of chemicals known as ‘cannabinoids’. These chemicals interact with the endocannabinoid system of the body to produce a whole range of pain killing effects that can match, and in some cases surpass the effects of opiates. The main advantage that medical marijuana has over opiates is that it is totally non-addictive. On top of this, studies have shown that marijuana can actually reduce dependence on opiates.

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With technological advents such as dry herb vaporizers like the Volcano from Storz & Bickel and sweeping legalization, cannabis is more popular than ever. Medical marijuana can be used to treat a huge variety of pain depending on what strains you use, and what way you take it.

Know Your Cannabinoids

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the pain killing effects of medical marijuana, then it’s important to know what each cannabinoid can do for you. The most commonly known chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

THC is one of nearly 60 cannabinoids found in medical marijuana, it is associated with the ‘high’ effect that marijuana is associated with. It is also an effective pain killing agent, that can offer relief from a huge range of conditions. Another prominent chemical in marijuana is Cannabidiol, aka CBD, an important anti-inflammatory agent that can also be used to treat the pain associated with multiple sclerosis.

Once you familiarize yourself with the effects of the various cannabinoids present in marijuana, you can move onto the next step, choosing your strain.

Know Your Strains

Cannabis dispensaries stock a huge variety of cannabis strains, each with a different concentration of cannabinoids and active ingredients. This means that if you understand your condition and the levels of cannabinoids that you need to treat yourself, then you will be able to effectively select the perfect strain for you.

For example, a patient seeking treatment for the pain associated with MS would want a strain of medical marijuana that contains a high level of CBD. In this case they should check out strains like Gorilla Glue, Russian Assassin, or Super Sour Diesel; all of which are fantastic strains that have huge amounts of CBD, and lower levels of THC.

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Know How To Consume Your Cannabis?

There are dozens of ways to consume medical cannabis, but many involve a level of combustion and acrid smoke. This, understandably, can be off putting for anyone looking for the health benefits of marijuana. There is another way, medical marijuana vaporizers are a modern and healthy way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis. Vaporizers work by taking advantage of the boiling points of the cannabinoids present inside cannabis, lifting them away in a cloud of vapor and leaving all the plant matter behind.

There are two primary methods of heating found inside vaporizers, conduction and convection. Conduction works by putting marijuana into direct contact with the heating element, heating its surface area directly. Conduction is the fastest heating method and is frequently found in portable vaporizers like the Firefly 2, that is intended for small doses when you’re out and about.

Convection is a slower method of vaporization. It works by heating the air surrounding the marijuana, gradually baking it and lifting the cannabinoids out in a thick, tasty vapor. This method yields a more powerful vapor that works better in long, slow sessions. You’re more likely to see convection vaporization in desktop vaporizers like the Storz & Bickel Volcano, the most advanced convection vape on the market. The Volcano produces a powerful, thick vapor that is 95% purer than the results of any other vaporizer.

Medical marijuana is rapidly becoming the go to way to treat a huge variety of pain and discomfort. This means that knowing how it works, and what works for you, is more important than ever for patients everywhere.