SOLLAY MEDICAL CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
Terrance L. Baker, MD, MS, FAAEP, FAAFP
Hana Kelele, CRNP, PhD
Modesta Vesonder, CRNP, MS
A Family Practice Board Certified Office
Providing Relief to Millions with Pain
Today millions of American’s rely on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain relief. Patient’s have been using cannabis and cannabis related products to treat pain for thousands of years.
In 1550 BC an Egyptian physician Ebers Papyrus started using cannabis as a way to treat inflammatory disease processes in Egyptian patients. In Ancient China 100 AD clinical books refer to cannabis as a medication to be used in the treatment of inflammatory and painful conditions. In 200 AD Sua Tuo, a Chinese surgeon, used cannabis as an anesthetic.
Today, hundreds of studies from laboratory and human trials refer to the effectiveness of cannabis for chronic pain relief. These medical studies evaluated different types of pain related to specific medical diagnosis including musculoskeletal back and extremity; auto-immune; cancer pain; multiple sclerosis; arthritis; neuropathy; radiculopathy; regional pain syndrome; and Parkinson’s Disease. These studies demonstrate that cannabis provided significant pain relief regardless of pain source.
Over one hundred million Americans suffer with chronic pain every day. In the past, the medications used to treat this pain were limited to Tylenol related products, anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen, Prednisone, opioid narcotics, and synthetic narcotics. Many patients required multiple prescriptions for relief of the patients painful symptoms. Doctors prescribed these drugs to treat symptoms often producing significant side effects and complications requiring other medications to treat the patients associated symptoms. As a result the cost for healthcare related to pain in the United States is over 700 billion.
Growing research in the field of medical marijuana has demonstrated cannabis and cannabinoids are a highly effective and safer treatment option when prescribed by a well-educated and trained health care provider.
A recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine analyzed over 10,700 studies related to the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. The conclusion of this committee of esteemed scientists and doctors found “conclusive or sufficient evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for pain”.
The three species of cannabis include: Exativa, Indica, and Ruderalis (hemp). There are over one hundred medically active compounds, called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Each chemical compound is believed to have different characteristic medical effects and health benefits.
THC and CBD are two cannabinoids that have been most widely studied for pain. CBD cannabinoids do not contain THC (< 0.3 THC) and do not make people feel “high”. THC which in fact does have significant cognitive effects along with CBD terpenes have been both found to be effective in the management of pain. Terpenes are the medically active chemical compounds found to have specific medical effects on cell function in relieving pain.
Cannabinoids circulate throughout your body and blood stream and attach themselves to special cannabinoid receptors found in specialized cells associated with modulating your body’s response to painful conditions. Cannabinoid receptors are found in the brain, connective tissues, organs, glands and immune cells throughout the body from head to toe. Cannabinoid receptors in the (ECCS) system help modulate body functions like appetite, sleep, anxiety, digestion, cognition and pain. ECCS works closely with the nervous system and immune system to regulate bodily functions which are occurring daily in your body including medical responses to underlying medical conditions.
For example, if you are injured, naturally occurring cannabinoids are sent to the injured area, decreasing pain reception in cells, preventing inflammatory responses and stabilizing the nerve pathways to prevent pain sensation of the injury or malfunctioning organ. Cannabinoid system responses appear to work to minimize pain and damage.
Concentrated pure CBD (Hemp) oil terpenes has been found to activate pro-transmitters in the brain associated with feelings of happiness, calmness and well-being. Serotonin receptor known as 5-HT1A creates an anti-anxiety effect lowering stress and significantly reducing pain.
CBD (Hemp) terpenes have also been shown to interact with cells in the body that modulate therapeutic effects. For example, CBD, terpenes bind to receptors which specifically mediate pain perception and inflammation.
Icy Hot contains capsaicin which creates a heating or cooling effect that works much the same way to modulate pain perception. These products activate receptors that are inhibitory to pain causing a soothing effect on body aches and pains.
Additional clinical trials such as a recent study at McGill University in Montreal demonstrated that THC a psychoactive cannabinoid has significant pain management benefits. CBD pure products have significant effects on pain reduction. Additionally, it is important to realize that CBD products that are mixed with other components such as cinnamon or eucalyptus or Vitamin E often have a significant reduction or absence of effects as the terpenes contained within the oil are neutralized by the addition of other additive ingredients. Clearly cannabis has medical benefits. Cannabis relieves pain by changing the way the nerves function and modulating pain perception. There are over 45 clinical studies that have recently demonstrated a significant relationship between cannabis and pain reduction. The body of evidence supporting cannabis continues to increase each year.
Medical cannabis products including CBD and medical marijuana may provide a natural, safe pain management approach for you. Each individual’s pain is unique and different based upon the underlying medical diagnosis, previous treatments and the unique treatment strategies that physicians have used to treat you in the past. While no guarantees can be made, there are several facts that appear to be true for the vast majority of patients. Physician supervised medical cannabis products appear to provide safer pain relief results in chronic pain patients than currently available prescription drugs such a opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory products and Tylenol related products.
If you would like to investigate the possible use of cannabis and cannabis related products as part of your treatment regiments then call and make an appointment to discuss these important medical products. Discover what is the best plan of care for you and your unique diagnosis.
Call today at 410-644-7655 to create a personalized treatment plan.
Terrance L. Baker, MD, MS, FAAEP, FAAFP
Board Certified Family Medicine
Board Certified Geriatric Medicine
Board Certified Emergency Medicine
Board Certified Forensic Medicine
Certified Medical Director