Chronic pain is difficult to treat and standard medical treatment relies on medications that may have significant potential for addiction and not safe for long-term use. If you’re searching for a different or additional option, you may be interested in how to use marijuana for chronic pain. It’s ideal to work with your doctor directly, and if your doctor isn’t experienced with marijuana, consider trained professionals like the doctors at Qwibil!
Using marijuana for chronic pain has nearly infinite options and potential.
It’s important to consider the method of use, dosage, frequency of dosing, specifics of the product and if/what you combine it with. Some medications are not ideal to combine with cannabis, so check with your doctor if you have questions. In particular, if you use opiate pain medicines consider options for method of use.
Chronic pain sufferers might choose an edible (food) based product, a liquid (tincture or beverage), inhaled flower, inhaled vape/concentrate products, topical lotions or salves or topical patches. Use methods vary in time of onset, how strong they are and how long they last. See this post for more information about use methods!
Some products will come in different strengths or cannabinoid ratios.
To treat chronic pain the gold standard in research thus far is a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio, or in other words, the same amount of THC and CBD.
In practice, I’ve found that many do not tolerate as much THC as they do CBD. I often start patients with CBD alone since it has no psychoactive properties and is safe to use when driving, working, etc. If CBD is not effective, then I gradually add in THC until we find a successful ratio.
Sometimes I will use multiple products, but other times a commercial product is available with the ratio that works. It is not unusual for it to take time and experimentation to find a successful product + cannabinoid ratio. If using flower or some vape products you may need to try different cultivars (or strains).
Once you have decided upon the use method and strength/ratio to treat your chronic pain with marijuana you will need to determine your dosage. See this article for more information about how to determine dosage.
Once you know the dose that works for you, you’ll be able to notice how long this dose works, and therefore understand how often you’ll need to dose. Some patients can use as-needed for pain and others will need a more scheduled approach.
Ask your doctor for advice as there are lots of possibilities.