Medical Cannabis as an Option for Canadians with Chronic Pain

The Health Canada Canadian Pain Task Force reported in 2019 that an estimated one in five Canadians lives with chronic pain, and it’s becoming an increasingly pervasive part of people’s lives.

Pain is a subjective sensation, being both a sensory and physical awareness that triggers an emotional experience. Since pain is an unpleasant sensory feeling that makes it impossible to separate the body from the mind to find relief, especially when experienced as a chronic condition, many experience a tough emotional toll from pain.

In 2008, the Canadian Community Health Survey showed that aside from pain related to neurological disorders like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, spinal cord injury, or stroke, the most common form of chronic pain was back pain and migraine headaches.

Other common forms of chronic pain are associated with the following conditions and symptoms:

  • Neuropathic pain (i.e. as a result of chemotherapy)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Accident- or injury-related pain
  • Sciatica
  • HIV/AIDS-related pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neck pain
  • TMJ Disorder

Pain management is the course that medical practitioners take to relieve or eliminate the unpleasant sensations of pain. For minor or acute pain, practitioners traditionally prescribe analgesics. For chronic pain, narcotics and opioids may be prescribed, which for some can become problematic. Currently, there is an opioid crisis facing Canada. Between January 2016 and September 2019, 14,700 lost their lives for opioid-related reasons.

As a result, modern medicine has been looking at alternative options for pain management and pain relief, with fewer side effects that increase, not decrease, quality of life. While research is still being developed about the efficacy of medical cannabis for pain, cannabis is being regarded as a powerful analgesic that reduces inflammation.

JC Green’s medical cannabis brand, JC Medicinal, is dedicated to providing Canadians with medical cannabis strains as tools to affect one’s experience with chronic pain. Based on our research on the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of certain terpenes and cannabinoids, our strains are cultivated with medical outcomes in mind, supported by the available clinical research on cannabis for pain.

The following is a brief overview on medical cannabis for pain, including a survey of research that targets pain for specific medical conditions and symptoms.

Pain and The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a whole-body system responsible for regulating and maintaining human health and overall balance, which is known as homeostasis.

Endocannabinoids are naturally-occurring compounds that exist within the body that help with mitigating pain sensations and inflammation through the activation of the cannabinoid receptors. When it comes to the pain response, endocannabinoids working on the CB1 receptor modulates the transmission of pain signals between the spinal cord and the brain. The CB1 receptor also responds in this way to phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids from cannabis), including THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids that exist with the cannabis plant, affecting the way the brain interprets pain.

Cannabis to Reduce Inflammation in Pain-Related Conditions

Many emerging studies are looking at the mitigation of pain with cannabinoids by focusing on certain conditions and their associated symptoms.

Cannabis for Arthritis

Studies in medical cannabis for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) examine how the CB2 receptor is most responsible for helping to create beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. Cannabinoids down-regulate the body’s natural inflammatory response to pain or injury within the CB2 receptors, while CB1 receptors modulate pain signalling to the brain. Cannabinoids physically affect pain while it also affects the way the brain experiences it.

Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain

A 2013 clinical study used a control group given a placebo against a group who were given low and medium doses of cannabinoids for neuropathic pain, brought on by chemotherapy. It was observed that the group who received vaporized cannabis as opposed to the placebo experienced a 30% decrease in neuropathic pain and pain symptoms, suggesting that even cannabis vaporized at low doses is effective for managing neuropathic pain.

Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis

A study tested the efficacy of whole-plant cannabis-based medicine on pain and sleep disturbances associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 64 patients. Half the participants were administered an oromucosal spray containing equal parts THC and CBD, while the other half were given placebo. The study concluded that cannabis-based medicine was superior to placebo in reducing the mean intensity of pain and sleep disturbance for those living with pain associated with MS.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency & Pain

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CES), a term first coined by Dr. Ethan Russo, is a deficit in the naturally-occurring cannabinoids within the body. Endocannabinoid deficiency is mostly related to migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome, but diseases like endometriosis and other women’s reproductive health conditions are being increasingly liked to the endocannabinoid system and endocannabinoid deficiency.

Connect with JC Medicinal for Exploration of Strains for Pain

JC Medicinal’s cannabis is grown under the care of Cultivaton Manager, Easton Klaudi, who takes great care into producing small-batch, hand-trimmed, quality cannabis for medical cannabis patients. Grown free of pesticides and potentially harmful irradiation practices, JC Medicinal’s medical cannabis is cultivated with full terpene preservation to maximize the potential of terpenes.

CBD-rich and high-potency THC cultivars, available in sativa-dominant strains like LeeRoy OG, and indica-dominant strains like Pyramid, give medical patients options to find what works best for them for pain management. Strains like our CBD flower CD1, which contains up to 10-14% CBD with high terpene content, provide options for medical cannabis to explore the properties of CBD in harmony with other cannabinoids.

To ensure new and existing patients can access JC Medicinal’s products to explore medical cannabis for pain, we partner with the cannabis clinic Karthia Medical Group.

 

Patients are assessed online by a qualified practitioner to get their medical cannabis documentation for free. They are supported by Karthia’s Patient Services Team to ensure they can access high-quality cannabis online at affordable prices from JC Medicinal and other LPs right to their doorstep. The patient will feel supported as they pursue their options for medical cannabis for chronic pain.

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More information about Karthia can be found at https://karthia.ca/, and the clinic can be accessed directly by calling 1-833-222-6777, or emailing info@karthia.ca. JC Medicinal’s superior quality products can be viewed at https://jcmedicinal.ca/products/.


Selected References

Bouaziz, J., Bar On, A., Seidman, D. S., & Soriano, D. (2017). The clinical significance of endocannabinoids in endometriosis pain management. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 72-80.

Hill, K. P., Palastro, M. D., Johnson, B., & Ditre, J. W. (2017). Cannabis and pain: a clinical review. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 96-104.

Lowin, T., Schneider, M., & Pongratz, G. (2019). Joints for joints: cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Current opinion in rheumatology, 31(3), 271-278.

Rog, D. J., Nurmikko, T. J., Friede, T., & Young, C. A. (2005). Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis. Neurology, 65(6), 812-819.

Wilsey, B., Marcotte, T., Deutsch, R., Gouaux, B., Sakai, S., & Donaghe, H. (2013). Low-dose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain. The Journal of Pain, 14(2), 136-148.