The Health Benefits of THC & Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana and the compound THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is becoming a more popular alternative in the medical field. This is likely as this is one of the only natural alternatives for pain control available. For decades, the use of THC has been studied, scrutinized, and debated. More and more clinical research being conducted is proving the powerful therapeutic benefits of THC and medical marijuana. More and more medical professionals are recommending medical marijuana along with other FDA-approved THC medications in place of highly addictive opioids.
How THC & Medical Marijuana WorkMedical marijuana and THC work in the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a network of molecules and receptors that run throughout the body. It regulates hunger, mood, inflammation, and more. The phytochemicals, or cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant attach to receptors to initiate their therapeutic benefits and restore homeostasis. The ECS is the largest system of receptors and is found throughout the body and brain. THC is particularly attracted to the CB1 receptors of the ECS found in the central nervous system.
Chronic Pain Relief
Opioids are one of the most commonly prescribed groups of medications to combat those suffering from severe chronic pain.
While opioids have been thought to be helpful for these conditions there is a wide range of risks associated with their use including addiction, abuse, and overdose. In addition, to date there is no compelling clinical evidence that opioids actually work to reduce pain and improve function in the chronic pain condition.
Medical marijuana has been studied to be an effective and less risky substitute for opioids. Addiction is rare and side effects are fewer. Many would debate this point but the evidence is mounting that opioids are more dangerous than the plant-based therapy of THC.
The compounds of the cannabis plant engage with CB1 and CB2 receptors that reduce pain and inflammation responses throughout the body. The cannabinoid compounds reduce excessive inflammatory responses allowing the body to experience less pain less frequently. The CB1 receptors help to modulate the pain response in the central nervous system. THC seems particularly helpful for neuropathy.
Nerve Pain Relief
When the different cannabinoids of marijuana interact with receptors in the ECS the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS, PNS) are also affected. THC provides therapeutic assistance to the PNS and CNS in relieving pain, numbing, and tingling associated with diabetic neuropathy and other forms of nerve pain. The CB receptors when interacting with cannabinoids (either endogenous or exogenous from plants) transmit a healthier, more balanced signaling of pain to the brain.
Nerve Pain ReliefWhen the different cannabinoids of marijuana interact with receptors in the ECS the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS, PNS) are also affected. THC provides therapeutic assistance to the PNS and CNS in relieving pain, numbing, and tingling associated with diabetic neuropathy and other forms of nerve pain. The CB receptors when interacting with cannabinoids (either endogenous or exogenous from plants) transmit a healthier, more balanced signaling of pain to the brain. The cannabinoids in the cannabis plant also offer antioxidant benefits throughout the body. They take care of excess free radicals throughout the body which have the ability to damage nerve endings when the body experiences oxidative stress. The molecular structure of CBD allows it to scavenge electrons before they can damage the cells, DNA or mitochondria.
Recovery From Surgery
Post-surgery, the body will be more susceptible to pain and inflammation which can prolong the healing process when gone unchecked. Medical marijuana can help your body regulate these responses to offer a faster and more pleasant recovery process. At this time, most surgeons still use narcotics for short-term relief immediately after surgery. However, there is a growing role for THC in longer-term pain control.
Medical marijuana has also proven to help post-op patients have a healthier appetite and better overall mood after surgery! One of the main anecdotal benefits of medical marijuana is the improved sleep. Better sleep always results in better recovery.
Schedule A Consultation Today
Dr. Meredith Warner is certified in the state of Louisiana to recommend medical marijuana to qualifying patients for a variety of conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, intractable pain, multiple sclerosis, and more. Schedule a consultation today with Dr. Warner to determine if you qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation.