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Medical marijuana is widely used as a complementary therapy to treat chronic pain.

It is vital to inform your doctor of all treatments you incorporate, including medical marijuana, so that they can warn you about any potential interactions and correctly interpret any side effects.

What does it involve?
Medical cannabis is currently legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Bills legalizing marijuana for medical usage are pending in several other states.

In places where marijuana products are sold legally, it is often available in a wide variety of formats. Cannabinoids (active substances in marijuana) may be purchased as lozenges, sprays, edible products and topical ointments as well as products that may be smoked or vaporized and inhaled.

Medical cannabis comes in a wide variety of strains, each with different chemical compositions. Medical cannabis contains many active compounds that produce different effects. Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC, is best known for producing recreational mental effects, it can also have anti-inflammatory and appetite stimulating effects. Cannabidiol, or CBD, can reduce pain, treat convulsions, act as a sedative, and also reduce mental effects of medical cannabis. Cannabichromene, or CBC, is an analgesic, while cannabigerol, or CBG, has anti-inflammatory properties. Different strains contain various levels of each of these compounds. Depending on your symptoms, one strain of medical cannabis may provide more benefit than another.

Ask your doctor for dosage and administration directions.

The effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and multiple sclerosis has been established in many clinical trials.

Medical marijuana may not be legal in your state. If it is, it may not be covered by insurance. Medical marijuana may be expensive to purchase out-of-pocket.

Medical cannabis can have side effects including nausea, dry mouth, red eyes, vomiting, problems with heart or blood pressure, depression, anxiety, depression, dizziness, sleepiness, and sexual dysfunction.

For answers to frequently asked questions about exposure to marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit the experts at

Medical marijuana for Chronic Pain Questions

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