Of all the amazing qualities inherent to cannabis – the clarity it provides, the creativity it opens up, the highs it can take you to – perhaps the greatest of all is its versatility. Marijuana is not only multifaceted in the ways in which it’s consumed, but in the variety of medical conditions for which the plant provides relief.
We see patients seeking respite from symptoms that run the gamut of severity, from long-term sufferers who’ve tried every pill at the pharmacy to those experiencing new ailments. Every person is different, and the strains/ingestion methods we recommend are unique to each circumstance. But generally speaking, there are five conditions we see more than others – here they are, and here’s how medical cannabis helps these patients find the relief they’re looking for.
It’s no surprise that chronic pain is such a catalyst for medical cannabis use. After all, “pain” is a pretty broad category. There are the bumps, bruises and inflammation that come with a specific injury or recovery from a surgical procedure, all the way up to pains associated with diseases like Parkinson’s or MS. When you’re hurting, it doesn’t really matter why – you just want to live a life not ruled by pain.
Cannabis’ two primary cannabinoids go to work relieving both your pain and your perception of the pain you’re in. CBD actively blocks inflammatory cells from taking over at the site of an acute injury while THC relieves pain up and down the Central Nervous System to calm the body’s reaction to pain. THC also has psychoactive properties that can put you in a better headspace, thus pulling your focus from your distress.
In a particularly promising development, many patients are now turning to medical cannabis as an alternative to highly addictive and increasingly deadly opioids, suggesting that the tide is turning in the acceptance of marijuana as a safe and effective form of pain relief.
Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and IBS are the unholy trinity of miserable inflammatory bowel diseases. Anyone who suffers from these conditions knows the frustrating limitations IBDs can place on diet, activity, and generally getting the most out of life.
Cannabis again works its magic on the inflammation that leads to severe diarrhea, bleeding, vomiting and a whole host of other terrible symptoms brought on by IBDs. In particular with Crohn’s Disease, one study found that patients who regularly used marijuana significantly cut down on their number of prescription pills needed as well as the frequency of their daily bowel movements.
Spasms can be caused by acute injuries, but they’re more often associated with conditions of the nervous system. Chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis cause muscles to degenerate over time, with neurological symptoms that manifest in the form of painful muscle activity.
Multiple studies suggest that cannabis can play a big role in slowing the progression of these types of diseases. Those who used marijuana actually experienced more muscle control than those who did not, suggesting that cannabis is effective at quelling the rate of involuntary and often painful muscle contractions that mark conditions like MS.
A healthy mind can be your best defense against poor health. When it comes to a disease as loaded as cancer, maintaining a positive mental state can be a challenge. Yes, cannabis is extremely useful in relieving nausea that comes from both the disease and its treatment (CBD is particularly effective at reducing pain associated with chemotherapy), as well as fighting inflammation that can lead to pain all over the body. But it may provide its biggest benefit when times are bleakest.
The right cannabis strains offer a break from the surgeries and treatments that make cancer such a fight. Strains that relieve anxiety, turn the mind into positive experiences and creative thoughts, and generally put users in a euphoric mood can go a long way in promoting a mind-over-matter approach that’s so key in battling the Big C.
Epileptic seizures can be disorienting, violent, scary experiences. They strike without warning and can leave sufferers incapacitated for a period of time. Treating frequent seizures has typically required medication or surgery, but a few high-profile cases of patients using CBD to reduce their symptoms has put the spotlight on cannabis as a potentially viable alternative.
Because CBD works on the central nervous system to help dull pain signals, it has been shown to manage symptoms even in conditions that had not previously been receptive to other types of medication. We have no shortage of non-psychoactive CBD strains available for our epileptic patients to discover what works best for them.
These are simply the five most common qualifying conditions we see at our Sol Flower locations in Tempe and Sun City. No matter what symptoms you’re experiencing, or the severity of your condition, we can help you find the right strain to manage your discomfort and find relief.