The Latest Studies on Marijuana and Pain [2020 Update]

Some of the newest and latest research and evidence…

We’re into 2020 now, and the cannabis world is changing and evolving at a rate that is truly unprecedented. Although marijuana may not be accepted still as a global medicine, many of those who once did not believe in the plant’s therapeutic capabilities have are now seeing its usefulness as clear as day.

Not only has research shown that cannabis is capable of assisting with things like inflammation, depression, and pain, but high-CBD varieties are also now being purported to help with things like mood disorder, anxiety, and even complex behavioral conditions.

In terms of pain – whether it is chronic pain, arthritis/joint pain, headaches/migraines, backaches, cramping, or nerve pain – marijuana has shown a good amount of beneficial evidence in terms of being able to provide a massive amount of relief and therapy to struggling individuals.

In this article, we take a look at several of the most recent studies that have expressed evidence for the powerful pain-managing capabilities of marijuana. While anecdotal reports have existed for decades regarding the healing potential of marijuana, we are now starting to see support emerge in the form of clear, reliable scientific data.

Keep on reading to discover the most recent studies regarding marijuana and pain in this updated 2020 guide…

Studies on Marijuana and Migraines

Affecting approximately 37 million people in the United States alone, migraines are much more intense than your regular headache, often coupled with “extra” symptoms that are not common with other types of head-related pains.

These symptoms can include vomiting and nausea, as well as sensitivities to smells, sounds and light. Furthermore, fatigue and tiredness can also appear. The symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours all the way up to a number of weeks, and can leave victims debilitated and unable to function normally – even to the point where they basically just have to lie down until it passes.

For years, it has been common knowledge that incurable migraines can actually benefit immensely from cannabis. Now, however, research studies are beginning to back this up, particularly via a 2016 publication in the European academic journal Pharmacotherapy.

In the study, the efficacy of THC and its anti-migraine effects when administered to female rats in varying doses was examined, ultimately concluding that the CB1 receptor moderates the effects of THC against migraines.

Moreover, the study showed that THC can prove successful in terms of pain relief if administered in the correct dosage (which was at least 0.32 mg per kg of body weight), and at the correct period of allotted time.

Although this study was conducted on animals (which isn’t always 100% accurate when related to humans), another more current research project was conducted on humans in June 2017, and results declared that THC and other cannabinoids appeared to be effective against migraines in the same manner as pharmaceutical medications, which of course is a massive move in the right direction for the world of medical marijuana and pain relief.

Studies on Cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease

Although Parkinson’s disease is not directly defined by pain, those who do have this medical condition have regularly reported an increased sensitivity to pain, which can be especially debilitating.

Those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can also experience tremors, challenges with movement, cognitive difficulties, impaired balance and many other debilitating problems. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, so those diagnosed must live with this condition for the entirety of their life.

Fortunately, cannabis has proven to be a hopeful solution for managing some of the difficulties that are linked to Parkinson’s disease. In fact, a study released in November 2017 by researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel tested 40 patients with Parkinson’s Disease; they discovered that after smoking medical marijuana for a total of 19 months, many of the debilitating symptoms connected to this medical disorder were improved.

To be exact, 82% of test subjects reported an improvement of their Parkinson’s-related symptoms after the allocated period of time, while another 75% claimed an enhancement in their general and overall mood. These results provide strong evidence that cannabis could be a possible solution for minimizing both the onset and duration of Parkinson’s symptoms among those diagnosed.

Studies on Marijuana’s Effectiveness as a Replacement for Opioid Pain Medications

Pain is an issue that tens of millions of individuals suffer from in the United States alone, and this uncomfortable and problematic sensation has numerous sources of origin. Typically, doctors and medical practitioners prescribe opioid-derived medications when one of their patients reports serious discomfort, and although these medications do bring some relief, America has been suffering from an opioid epidemic – especially within the past decade.

Just to put things into perspective, for instance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that more than 115 Americans die from opioid overdose every single day. Although this number does not only include prescription opioids, many of those addicted to the substances are consuming it in the form of prescribed medications. (Prescription drug overdose is also said to be the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, which only further solidifies the extent of the epidemic, particularly in the US).

A study published in June 2017 in the scientific journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, however, concluded that according to reports of medical patients, cannabis is “just as effective, if not more, than opioid-based medications for pain.”

Cannabis is just as effective, if not more, than opioid-based medications for pain.

In this study, survey data from 2,897 medical cannabis patients were collected, and 97% of the sampled group reported that they either strongly agreed or agreed that they were able to decrease their opiate usage with the help of marijuana.

Moreover, 81% of the sampled group reported that they either strongly agreed or agreed that consuming marijuana by itself was actually even more effective for their pain, rather than consuming it alongside opioids.

These results, along with the fact that the surveyed group was quite large, provides a strong argument for the use of cannabis to manage pain, providing the world with a small glimmer of hope in terms of natural therapy rather than dangerous, addictive prescription drugs.

Studies on Marijuana and Pain Relief: Final Thoughts

All in all, it’s incredibly important to understand that the research demonstrated in this article is only some of the most recent examples of cannabis’ potential for managing pain. Numerous other studies that are a bit older also support this statement, and it is safe to say that many more batches of evidence will be released in coming years – and in fact are already in the process of being released.

If you have been wondering about how much you should trust marijuana to manage your own pain, or the pain of a loved one, then hopefully this article has provided some helpful insight. Cannabis is now available medically in 31 out of the 50 U.S. states (as well as 10 states recreationally), and it is clear that access to this natural therapeutic herb is increasing steadily.

In the years to come, we hope that marijuana is legalized at the federal level so that all Americans can have easy, affordable, reliable access.

Moreover, we hope that additional studies on marijuana for pain relief continue to emerge so millions more people across the globe can become educated as to the plant’s healing potential.

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