Cannabis for Pain Management
Chronic pain can occur for a multitude of reasons. It can be caused by an isolated instance of trauma and damage to tissue from an accident, or it can be the result of chronic disease. This type of pain is pervasive and it challenges our ability to be our best selves. It can impact our sleep patterns and compromise the quality of our lives. When preoccupied with the unpleasant and often debilitating sensations of chronic pain, it becomes difficult to perform well in our jobs and to be present with and care for our families. And because it impacts such a huge breadth of the activities that dictate our daily routines, it often has other repercussions, such as negative impacts on our mental health. In short, it can severely compromise the joy and quality of life in profound ways.
And yet the currently available standard methods of pain treatment are limited in their efficacy and safety. Many of the most predominant therapies employ opioid pain killers that are highly addictive and dangerous due to the risk of overdose. And America has a major opioid problem! Currently, the U.S. is consuming 80% of the worlds opioids, and yet research shows that there is no evidence in the support of long term use of opioids for pain (healer.com).
Enter Cannabis. Historical use of Cannabis to treat pain is well documented throughout Western and Eastern civilizations. Cannabis became a prominent ingredient to treat pain and made its way into the United States Pharmacopeia in 1850 (This is an official publication containing a list of drugs, chemicals, and preparations for medicinal use) (medicalmarijuana.procon.org).
There already exist scientific, randomized controls that show that Cannabis can be used to treat chronic pain. This has been endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology, which states that Cannabis extract can be used to treat chronic pain and MS with the “highest level of evidence” (aan.com).
So why does Cannabis work so well to control chronic pain? The answer lies in our body’s ability to bind the cannabinoids that occur in Cannabis to our own endocannabinoid receptor sites that are distributed throughout specific regions of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. These receptor sites modulate pain in response to stress. By this mechanism, THC and CBD, as well as a host of other compounds, such as flavonoids and terpenes, work well together to help remedy pain and inflammation (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). And by minimizing inflammation, Cannabis can offer relief from pain, as well as heal the damaged tissues and nerves in our bodies. Furthermore, Cannabis is safe to use over time and does not pose the same risks for addiction or death from a lethal dose that many pharmaceuticals can.
At Humboldt Apothecary, our strategy for making the best Cannabis tincture for pain involves incorporating other powerful medicinal herbs with Cannabis to promote the most beneficial effect. This concept of “synergy”, or the blending of different compounds to maximize the potential therapeutic value of a formula, has been used throughout history by herbalists and doctors. In fact, most original Cannabis medicines that were featured in the US Pharmacopeia contained a suite of botanical extracts in combination with Cannabis. The benefit of botanical medicine is that it is generally more gentle and well tolerated by the body, with few, if any unpleasant side effects. The botanical extracts that we incorporate have a long history of use for both pain and inflammation and have been found to be clinically effective in pain relief (semanticscholar.org).
Part of our mission is to offer formulas and ingredients that are gentle on the earth and in the body. We are proud to provide products with the highest quality ingredients that are available, with the knowledge that if we empower one another to strive for vibrant health, we will, in turn, be experiencing a better quality of life. And with a better quality of life, we have more opportunity to be the best version of ourselves.
*Do keep in mind that it is highly recommended to check with your health care professional before using any of our Cannabis formulas. This is especially important if you are taking any prescription medications.