What Drives Chronic Pain Patients in New Orleans to Use Medical Marijuana?

Ever since cannabis was deemed an effective treatment for many common and chronic medical conditions in the 1900s, a number of people have been turning to use medical marijuana as a natural remedy to help them reduce pain and other symptoms they are experiencing.

As of February of 2022, there are 39 states that have approved the use of medical marijuana, including Louisiana. One of the primary use cases is for chronic pain considering that many people suffer from it. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50 million Americans, or over 20% of the population, suffer from some form of chronic pain.

If you're considering using medical marijuana to treat your chronic pain, get a medical marijuana card in New Orleans today!

Understanding Chronic Pain

Before going any further, it is important to understand what chronic pain is and how it affects the lives of people suffering from it.

Chronic pain is an ongoing pain that usually lasts longer than six months. This is a type of pain that continues to bother people even after the injury that caused the pain has healed. 

It works as the pain signals remain active in the nervous system for long periods of time. The most common chronic pain conditions include:

●        Arthritis

●        Back pain

●        Cancer pain

●        Fibromyalgia

●        Headaches

Due to suffering from chronic pain, stress builds up and causes your body to react in different ways. It can cause you to feel anxious, have difficulty sleeping and lose your appetite. 

It also causes emotional distress, which can lead to:

●        Depression

●        Anger

●        Anxiety

Reasons Why People in New Orleans Use MMJ

As mentioned earlier, more and more people are seeing the benefits of using medical marijuana. The majority of the patients that apply for a medical marijuana card say that chronic pain is the main reason why they want to use MMJ. 

According to Healthline, 62% of medical marijuana users said that they use it for chronic pain.

Understanding chronic pain is one thing, but learning the reason why people are turning to medical marijuana is another. Here are some of the reasons:

Evidence-based Relief

According to a study and an article posted by NCBI, medical marijuana for chronic pain is effective. 

The study included 984 chronic pain patients who suffer from neuropathic pain, back pain, arthritis, headaches and abdominal pain. 2/3 of the patients testified that the main benefit they received from using medical marijuana was pain relief.

Accessibility

Medical marijuana is incredibly accessible these days. In New Orleans, all you need is a recommendation from a licensed physician and you’ll be able to get it from a medical dispensary. Currently, H&W Drug Store is the only medical dispensary in the city.

The Danger of Opioids

As more and more Americans use opioids, the number of people getting addicted and overdosing from them also increases. 

According to the CDC report, drug overdoses in 2015 claimed 52,404 lives. 33,091 of those deaths were caused by opioids.

A small dose of opioids can make you feel sleepy, while a larger one can make you pass out. It slows your heartbeat and breathing, which is the common scenario in most overdose cases that lead to deaths.

Indeed, long-term opioid use can be dangerous, resulting in lethal overdoses, life-threatening respiratory issues, dependency, tolerance and addiction.

With mounting evidence showing that opioids can be detrimental to one’s health, many patients choose the safer way of dealing with chronic pain through medical marijuana.

Mental Health Benefits

According to the American Psychological Association, multiple studies have corroborated the positive effects of medical marijuana for various psychological conditions. 

This is particularly relevant for chronic pain patients, who may face anxiety and depression as a result of their chronic pain. 

Qualifying patients may be able to address their mental health concerns and physical condition at the same time, resulting in improved overall well-being.

Conclusion

Chronic pain is a real problem. However, with the proven effectiveness of medical marijuana, there is a solution. 

If you're considering medical marijuana to treat your chronic pain condition, consult with a medical marijuana physician and see if you qualify.

Sources:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/safeopioiduse.html#:~:text=A%20health%20care%20provider%20may,prescribe%20them%20for%20chronic%20pain.
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm655051e1.htm
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/manage-your-pain/index.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-drives-patients-to-use-medical-marijuana-chronic-pain#The-results
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845915/
  7. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/chronic-pain-in-depth
  8. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/expert-answers/what-are-opioids/faq-20381270#:~:text=At%20lower%20doses%2C%20opioids%20may,which%20may%20lead%20to%20addiction.
  9. https://www.hwdrugs.com/
  10. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2018/12/marijuana#:~:text=These%20studies%20have%20found%20that,including%20opioids%2C%20benzodiazepines%2C%20and%20other
  11. https://www.mhanational.org/chronic-pain-and-mental-health

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