Severe chronic or intractable pain
Medical marijuana is a versatile option for severe chronic or intractable pain. It has analgesic/pain relieving qualities and side effects tend to be minimal compared to prescription pain medication. It also works in concert with other traditional prescription medications and alleviates some of the side effects associated with opiates like nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
Everybody feels pain sometimes. But chronic pain is different. It can disappear for a little while, but it always returns — for weeks or even years.
Intractable pain is even worse because it never goes away.
The pain can be a dull ache, throbbing, burning, shooting, squeezing, stinging, soreness or stiffness that is always with you.
It makes it hard to get out of bed. Hard to work or even leave the house.
It’s the kind of pain that leads as many as 20,000 people in the United States with chronic and intractable pain to commit suicide each year.
The cause of the pain can be an injury or a disease. It can even be something without a name — a condition without a diagnosis.
Prescription opioids are the usual treatment, and that can lead to other problems.
Real Life Stories
Rachel Grimes’ chronic pain started when she broke her back in a snowboarding accident in 2004. Between the pain of the injury itself and the pain from the many surgeries to repair the damage (19 as of 2016), she had been on at least 50 different medications by the time she decided it was time for a change. “I knew those drugs were going to kill me, whether it be by own doing or in my sleep, I just knew that I had to get off of them.” The medical marijuana helped her get through the nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and anxiety of detox and she still uses it every day to manage her pain. “I don’t think I could exist with the amount of physical pain and challenges I have without it.”
Medical marijuana use after surgery significantly reduces a patient’s chances of developing an addiction to opiate pain killers. In states with legal medical marijuana, there are up to 25 percent fewer opioid-related overdose deaths.