Chronic pain affects an estimated 50 million Americans and is a leading cause of disability, anxiety, and depression.
Medical marijuana can alleviate the physical and mental symptoms associated with chronic pain, but what should you expect when you start to pursue medical marijuana for chronic pain? That’s just the question that Dr. Scot DePue at Keystone Advanced Ketamine Therapy in West Lawn, Pennsylvania, aims to answer in this blog.
What to expect when you’re seeking medical marijuana for chronic pain
Medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania in 2016, but there are a few key steps you must take before you can participate in the program. Here’s what you can expect when seeking medical marijuana for chronic pain:
Before you can participate in the program or receive your medical marijuana card, you must register with the Medical Marijuana Registry.
2. Ensure you qualify
The next step in the process is to ensure that you have a qualifying condition, such as anxiety, cancer, epilepsy, neuropathic conditions, Tourette’s syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. Chronic pain is also listed as a qualifying medical condition.
Dr. DePue is an approved medical marijuana physician and can provide the certification you need if you suffer from a qualifying medical condition. Once approved, he submits your certification directly to the system.
3. Receive your medical marijuana card
After you visit with Dr. DePue, you head back to the Medical Marijuana Registry to complete your application and pay for your medical marijuana ID card. You’ll use this card when you go to an approved dispensary to retrieve your medical marijuana.
4. Visit the dispensary
Finally, you can visit an approved dispensary.
How medical marijuana works for chronic pain
Now that we’ve covered what to expect in terms of receiving your medical marijuana ID card, let’s explore what you can expect from the marijuana itself.
Medical marijuana helps manage your chronic pain because it affects the endocannabinoid receptors throughout your body. Marijuana attaches to the endocannabinoid receptor sites in your nerve cells, which then soothes and relaxes your nerves. As your nerves relax, they stop sending as many pain signals to your brain.
Reduced reliance on opioids for pain management
Medical marijuana also helps reduce your reliance on opioid pain medication. In addition, medical marijuana may be a good choice if your stomach doesn’t tolerate over-the-counter painkillers well.
Research shows that medical marijuana improves your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. This can be particularly good news if chronic pain affects your ability to get a good night’s rest.
Chronic pain increases your risk of developing anxiety and depression. Medical marijuana can help alleviate chronic pain while reducing your anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain.
Is medical marijuana right for you?
If you have chronic pain (or another qualifying medical condition), schedule your medical marijuana consultation with Dr. DePue. During your consultation, he reviews your health history, asks questions about your current pain management regimen, and answers any questions you have about the program.
To learn more about medical marijuana for chronic pain, book a consultation with Dr. DePue. Call our office or request an appointment online today.