As defined by the state of Minnesota, intractable pain is a pain state where the cause of pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated; and where no relief or cure of the cause of pain is possible, or no relief has been found after reasonable effort. The cause and intensity of intractable pain varies greatly from patient to patient, but cannabis may help with a variety of symptoms common in patients with intractable pain.
How Cannabis may help Intractable Pain:
CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory agent; studies have reported CBD is anywhere from 4 to 20 times more potent than aspirin as an anti-inflammatory.
THC has shown to be effective at reducing sensations of pain, anxiety, depression, and nausea. It also may help increase appetite and improve patients’ quality and duration of sleep.
THC may cause drowsiness and dizziness, but CBD mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC. By using both THC and CBD, patients can receive the benefits of THC with less of a chance of undesirable side effects, making it more likely patients can be active and productive during the day.
Cannabis therapies have replaced or reduced opioid therapies for many of our intractable pain patients. Many patients report an improved quality of life following this, due to the extensive side effect profile of opioid medications.
Unlike most opiod pain relievers, cannabis does not:
Carry the risk of respiratory depression
Carry the risk of death or overdose
What may qualify as Intractable Pain?
Below is a list of common causes of pain. Please keep in mind this list is not exhaustive and there are many other pain conditions that fall under the umbrella of Intractable Pain. If you are wondering whether your condition may qualify you, we recommend speaking with your health care practitioner.
Arthritis: rheumatoid & oseoarthritis
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Disc (vertebral) herniation
Low back pain
Phantom limb pain
Spinal cord injury
Trauma (including vertebral compression fracture)