More than three dozen states have approved medical cannabis over the last 20 years. We are fast approaching four dozen. Guess what the number one reason for using medical cannabis is? Chronic pain. Personally, that does not surprise me. Marijuana looks really good when you just want the pain to stop.
I have experienced chronic pain for the better part of 40 decades. Fortunately, it is not devastating. I can manage just fine with aspirin and acetaminophen. My sister is not so fortunate. She has been dealing with debilitating back pain for the last five or six years. She desperately wants it to stop.
Chronic Pain Isn’t Just Hurting
Managing chronic pain is hard to understand if you have never dealt with it before. The thing about chronic pain is that it is not just the sensation of hurting. It comes with a lot of baggage that can devastate a person’s life. Back pain patients, like my sister, face a whole litany of challenges most people never face. Their lives are extremely difficult.
For example, back pain severe enough to be debilitating prevents a person from enjoying life. My sister doesn’t go out much. When she does, she can only walk short distances before pain forces her to sit down again. She cannot pick up her grandchildren, decorate a Christmas tree, or take a walk in the woods with her husband. Her whole life revolves around keeping pain to a minimum.
All of this takes a mental and emotional toll. In addition to hurting physically, my sister hurts emotionally and mentally. That could be the worst part of all. She can temporarily numb the pain with prescription meds, but there is little she can do to ease her emotional and mental suffering without giving up lucidity.
Just Short of a Miracle
My sister will not use medical cannabis to manage her pain. She has her reasons, which I respect. Still, I have done research on her behalf. I have talked with plenty of chronic pain patients who describe medical cannabis as being just short of a miracle treatment.
I have personally spoken to patients who used to be on prescription narcotics but don’t take those other medications anymore. They are completely narcotics free. Likewise, I have spoken with other patients who, while unable to stop using narcotics completely, have greatly reduced their dependence on them.
I have heard story after story from chronic pain patients who were able to take their lives back after starting a medical cannabis regimen. How can I argue with them? I cannot. I am disabled myself, and the condition I deal with has no treatment. It has no cure. Rest assured that I will be the first to jump when something becomes available.
Chronic Pain Has Consequences
What many people do not understand is that pain has consequences that go beyond mere discomfort. Those consequences are discussed a lot at Utah Marijuana, a medical organization that helps Utah patients obtain medical cannabis cards.
Utahmarijuana.org experts explain that chronic pain can easily lead to depression. It can lead to loss of function, social isolation, and suicidal thoughts. And due to chronic pain’s tendency to limit a person’s mobility, a subsequent lack of exercise can be a contributing factor in everything from heart disease to diabetes.
Knowing what I know about chronic pain, I can understand why marijuana looks so good to so many people. When you just want the pain to stop and nothing else works, you are willing to pick up a vape pen and take a few hits of THC.