Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts more than 3 months.  It can negatively impact your daily functions, quality of life, social interactions and mental health.  Chronic pain can be nociceptive or neuropathic. Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage or inflammation. Neuropathic pain is caused by nervous system damage or malfunction. For most people, chronic pain starts after an injury or as a result of a health condition, such as back problems, headaches/migraines or arthritis.

 A common treatment for chronic pain has been prescribed opioid drugs.  However, opioids can have severe side effects including disorientation and nausea.  Furthermore they can be highly addictive and potentially toxic, with an estimated death toll from opioid overdose of 62,500 people in 2016. This has been a catalyst for many with chronic pain to turn to cannabis as an alternative treatment.  Studies at Harvard University show patients with chronic pain reported a significant decrease in pain with cannabis treatment.

Check out the pros and cons of medical marijuana treatment for chronic pain.

Positive Benefits

• Studies show patients with chronic pain reported significant decrease in pain

• Cannabis treatment is safer than widely prescribed opioid treatment

• Little risk of dependency and over dose, especially compared to opioids

Potential Side Effects

• May cause drowsiness and fatigue