How to Use Marijuana for Pain Relief [EXPLAINED]

There are dozens of options.
MarijuanaBreak Staff MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on June 10, 2019

How to Use Cannabis for Pain Relief

Cannabis has been a natural way of combating pain for hundreds of years. Over the past few decades as the plant has become better understood around the world, though, we are seeing more cannabis products and methods of consumption arise.

Chronic pain is a huge problem across the U.S. with a reported 25.3 million Americans suffering from pain on a daily basis. With this in mind, it is no wonder that more and more patients are now turning to marijuana as a safer and more natural alternative to the traditional treatments.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the best ways you can treat pain with cannabis. From edibles to patches, here are some of the preferred methods when it comes to treating pain with our favorite flower!

How do we Define Pain?

Before we delve into the details, it is always good to start off with the basics. ‘Pain’ can be applied to a whole host of conditions and situations, from long-term pain (chronic) to pain as a result of injury (acute). Cannabis is a proven analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory compound, which makes it ideal for the treatment of pain symptoms. Not only does the herb work wonders for existing pain, but its properties also make it great for actively preventing pain right from the onset.

The list of conditions cannabis can be helpful in treating is pretty extensive, and as pain is a common symptom that so many conditions share, it seems only natural that we should look to the plant for treatment.

Current Traditional Pain Treatment

The main reason for the increase in interest towards cannabis as a treatment for pain is the recent opioid problem that has become such an issue across America. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the country is currently going through an epidemic in which record numbers of people are abusing and overdosing on some of the most popular pain medications. Statistics have shown, for example, that around 29% of patients who are prescribed pain medication end up misusing them.

So, with many states altering their legal standpoint when it comes to the herb (as a result of these recent findings), we are seeing a rise in alternative consumption methods. For the health-conscious, smoking cannabis is fairly unappealing – especially if the presenting condition affects the lungs or breathing. But with so many alternative options out there, where do we begin?

Smoking Cannabis for Pain Relief

While smoking cannabis may be the most well-known and traditional way of consumption, it is fast becoming outdated as new and exciting products hit the shelves. While these innovative products boast a healthier alternative to the standard joint, though, we all know that sometimes there is nothing quite like a joint after a long, arduous day at work.

However, whether it be down to health, age, or other reasons, for many users smoking is simply not a suitable option. Here are a few things to consider about smoking marijuana for pain relief:

PROS: Smoking cannabis is fairly easy to accurately dose, and the effects kick in pretty quickly.

CONS: While studies are conflicting, smoking cannabis could have a negative impact on the lungs. As well as this, many patients do not prefer the smell of cannabis smoke.

Vaporizers: Vaping for Pain Relief

The next best thing for those who love the feeling of smoking, but want to avoid the potential risks associated with it, is vaping. Vaping has no doubt been one of the biggest things to come out of the industry in recent years, and by using heating mechanisms to extract the active ingredients from the cannabis (and converting it to vapor), you can get medicated quickly and easily.

Whether you want a discreet vaporizer that you can carry around in your pocket (and use as needed), or you prefer a larger, full-size unit that you can use at home, there is something on the market for everyone.

PROS: Vaping is a (potentially) healthier alternative for patients that don’t like the heavy scent of marijuana smoke, and it’s also discreet enough for public use.

CONS: It’s not as affordable as traditional smoking, and it requires recharging which can be less convenient for some users.

Edibles: Eating for Pain Relief

Back in the day, those looking for a decent edible would be restricted to funny-tasting pot brownies. Now, though, you can pretty much indulge in cannabis-infused everything! From cakes to fine dining, there are so many alternatives to try. And what’s even better is that the effects last much longer when consumed, as opposed to smoking or vaping. For those on the lookout for a healthy and long-lasting pain relief, you really might want to consider trying cannabis edibles.

PROS: Affects last longer, the tastes are varied and delicious, and the potency is potentially much stronger (depending on the level of THC), which makes it ideal for the treatment of pain.

CONS: Takes much longer for the effects to kick in compared to more traditional methods, and can be difficult to dose.

Oils: CBD or THC Oils

Typically, CBD oils are one of the most popular cannabis products out there and are used by both young and old people alike for the treatment of a host of conditions, one of which is chronic pain. Cannabidiol is full of potent properties, but it will not get you high which makes it an ideal choice for medical patients.

CBD oil has been traditionally used to treat various types of pain, and from arthritis and MS to chemotherapy and muscle soreness, the analgesic abilities of this product are far-reaching.

PROS: Easy to use, doesn’t leave you feeling high, and can be easily dosed for accurate intake. Very limited negative side effects.

CONS: In some users frequent CBD use can lead to tiredness, diarrhea, and a change in weight.

Topicals: Creams and Balms

Topicals are the perfect option for those suffering from joint and back pain, and it provides an alternative to those who may not be ready to try consuming cannabis orally. These days there are some revolutionary products on the market from creams to balms, all of which work by absorbing through the skin and providing localized relief to the affected area.

Also, like CBD oil topicals won’t leave you feeling high, which makes them a great option for senior citizens and/or for those people who are new to the cannabis industry.

PROS: Non-intoxicating and great for skin issues (including eczema and psoriasis), as well as targeting localized pain from arthritis.

CONS: Cannot be used to treat many conditions that oral cannabis has been shown to help with, such as PTSD, cancer and epilepsy.

Final Thoughts on How to Use Cannabis For Pain Relief

Choosing the right method and cannabis product for you is an extremely personal choice, and what works for one person may very well be entirely ineffective for another. It is for this reason that so many new and innovative products continue to be brought to the market to cater for all consumers.

Whether you prefer to smoke a joint or want something a little bit more low-key, this guide will provide you with a starting point on your pain-relieving cannabis journey.

  1. Manuel Bowe
    Try this

    Cannabis is very effective in pain management. The above guidelines you gave are amazing, and it is also great if you just infuse the cannabis in a hot cup of tea or coffee, that would also work great and work very quickly at the same time.

  2. Melanie Stamatellos
    Can't Find the Right Marijuana - HELP!

    I wish I had the success some of you have had with marijuana. I have chronic back pain due to two fractured vertebrae in my lower back. As I get on in years, the pain is so much worse. I was on a high dose of Oxycodone and have come down considerably – I want off of it completely. Trying marijuana to replace the Oxy, but so far nothing has worked. I’ve been told it’s going to be hard to find something that will help my problem. I don’t want to be on Oxy anymore, but can’t find the right marijuana after about a year of experimenting. High THC gives me that “marijuana high”, which I can’t stand and CBD doesn’t seem to help. I NEED to find a marijuana that will work very soon because my mind is going to ” Oxy seems like the only solution!!
    Is there anyone out there with a like problem that has found help with marijuana? If so, what is it that you use? I’m desperate because the pain is so severe but don’t want to go back on the Oxy!

    1. Tammye Stevens

      Hey…so sorry you are suffering. I’ve had 11 spinal surgeries. Started when I was 26 & The last one was in Aug 2015. I’m fused from C2-T3 and from L3-S1. Anyways, I definitely know about nerve pain. I got so sick of the pain pills & the way it has gotten for chronic pain sufferers is ridiculous!

      I live in Oklahoma & about 1 yr ago they passed Medical Marijuana. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a doctor that would ween me off the opioid while using MMJ so I got my card & am doing it my self! SICK OF DOCTORS ANYWAY! I won’t lie…the MMJ hasn’t taken away all the withdraws BUT it has def worked on the pain! I’ve been shocked. I was told to micro-dose until it worked good for me. I bought me a vaporizer called BOUNDLESS CF, it works great! Go on YouTube & watch videos by Dr Mara Gordon. She is amazing! She has more knowledge than anyone I’ve found. I wish you good luck…don’t give up. Study this because it does work. You just nd to find the right strain that has just enough THC to help you.

  3. Caleb Porter
    Hybrid Vape

    The easiest way, if you are doing it for pain is, to go with a vape pen or a vaporizer. Choose some hybrid strain, or one that is Indica dominant and just go for it. DO not go for very high THC as it can give you headaches later on.

  4. Donna Cotis

    Help! where do I get started, I have been in chronic pain getting worse and worse for about 28 years, I’m at the mercy of the pain management doctors and have to go there every two months 4 my morphine I also have lupus degenerative disc disease scoliosis lupus fibromyalgia Etc. I’ve recently considered trying an edible for pain relief and when I did I must have overdosed because it got me really high but the pain did go away. I need to find a better way to consume and how to. Anybody got any suggestions? I don’t know anyting about strains or Oils or anyting. If you have a THC or CBD oil that works could you give me the name.

  5. Lisa Grant

    I’ve been on morphine for 15 years and dreaded trying to come off of it. My husband and I had been reading about the CBD Oils and its benefits. Ive been on the oils for 25 days in which I haven’t had any morphine. I haven’t had any, and I mean any withdrawals. It has controlled my pain! I’m so excited about the possibilities and my future!

    1. Gracie
      Strain of cannabis you are using because I need to get off my pills without withdrawals

      Would you mind sharing the strain of cannabis you are using and The Vape and in the oil Argenta on oxycodone Klonopin but I’ve cut it all down to half of what I used to take I only take 1 1/2 mg of Klonopin an learn house no 15 mg a day of Oxycodone and I really had no how do you say several different strains and dates and oils and I can’t get to the point where I can get off with them completely without withdrawals bad pain

      1. Thomas Putman
        Opioid withdraw fix

        I was in the same position as you 5 years ago then I got hooked up with Dr. that put me on suboxone and it has been literally a life saver it doesn’t make me feel high and it doesn’t help the pain very much but it keeps the withdrawls at bay and the marijuana takes care of the pain

      2. Shannan
        Helps with withdrawals

        Try Kratom to get off pain meds. You will not have any withdrawals and it helps with paim, anitexy etc. The weed has two strains, seteva and intiaca. I know I spelled it wrong. But one makes you very very relax and sleepy the other gives you a little more energy. I just started ediables. I’ve never been so happy. I also use kratom. I suffer from Lupus

    2. Susan
      Medicare Cannabis/Opioids

      Been off all my opioids for a year now … Only using my Medical Cannabis and had NO withdrawal symptoms ( which my husband and I were concerned about too) I take High THC syringe along with High CBD syringe and smoke my flower while that kicks in and the pain is more livesble and I’m NOT at a Doctor’s mercy for pain meds 👍

      1. Tammye Stevens

        Susan…what strains are you using?

    3. Melissa Blevins

      Lisa, that’s great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *