Over 1.5 billion people globally suffer from chronic pain, says the American Academy of Pain.
In fact, pain is the most common reason people suffer from long-term disability in the United States, affecting some 100 million people. Pain is no joke: for many, it’s so debilitating that doing seemingly normal tasks like getting out of bed or doing household chores can be a huge challenge.
So it’s no surprise that so many are turning to cannabis as a way to naturally manage pain. Cannabis has powerful analgesic properties that many over the counter pharmaceuticals can’t beat. And with so many ways to consume cannabis these days, medicating for pain has never been more convenient.
However, researchers have found that smoking flower could be the most efficient way to medicate for pain. A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of New Mexico revealed that pain patients have a better chance of efficiently managing pain when smoking flower compared to the other forms of cannabis consumption. The findings state that “whole cannabis flower was associated with greater pain relief than were other types of products.” They also add that “higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels were the strongest predictors of analgesia and side effects prevalence across the five pain categories.”
These findings are nothing short of interesting especially given the rising popularity of CBD as a pain killer. The researchers basically say that using some THC is critical if you want to treat pain. “Cannabis flower with moderate to high levels of THC is an effective mid-level analgesic,” they say.
“Perhaps the most surprising result is just how widespread relief was with symptom relief reported in about 95% of cannabis administration sessions and across a wide variety of different types of pain,” says Xiaoxue Li, the study’s lead author.
“Our results confirm that cannabis use is a relatively safe and effective medication for alleviating pain, and that is the most important message to learn from our results,” says Jacob Miguel Vigil. “It can only benefit the public for people to be able to responsibly weigh the true risks and benefits of their pain medication choices, and when given this opportunity, I’ve seen numerous chronic pain patients substitute away from opioid use, among many other classes of medications, in favor of medical cannabis.”
“Cannabis likely has numerous constituents that possess analgesic properties beyond THC, including terpenes and flavonoids, which act synergistically for people that use whole dried cannabis flower,” Vigil says.
“Overwhelmingly, when the whole plant is used rather than isolating one compound of the plant inevitably it’s more effective,” explains Om of Medicine co-founder Mark Passerini, who worked with the University of Michigan for an International Review Board sanctioned survey on opioid and cannabis use.
Other Benefits Of Smoking Flower
Aside from the notable medical benefits of smoking flower, there are many reasons it continues to be the most popular way of consuming cannabis. It’s extremely versatile but it’s also so simple to consume; whether you want to use a bong or pipe, or rolling it up into a blunt or joint, smoking flower is champion for most.
Smoking flower also has a quicker onset; because of its extremely high bioavailability, that means you can feel its effects much quicker. Not only will you get high quicker, but it will also deliver pain relief within minutes whereas pharmaceutical drugs often take half an hour to work and in the case of other medicines, you have to take them for 2 weeks to see relief. But unlike medications, smoking flower doesn’t have any side effects for your kidneys and livers just to feel its impact.
When smoking a high-THC strain, you also don’t need a lot to feel its effects. That can make flower a very economical choice since a little goes a long way. However, keep in mind that smoking flower doesn’t have any standard dosing unlike other forms of consumption. That means the only way to truly find out how much works for you is by trial and error. So if you come across a strain with 18.64% THC, that means you’ll get around 186.40mg of THC in every gram of flower. If it’s your first time to smoke flower, always start small and then work your way up gradually until you find what works best for you.
Most of all, the best part of smoking flower is that you get its full-spectrum of health benefits in its purest, most natural form. You also get the benefits of the Entourage Effect, which means that all the compounds and benefits of the plant enhance each other synergistically to give you the most efficacious experience. This effect cannot be felt with other forms of consumption since smoking flower is the only way to make sure that the complete range of secondary compounds and terpenes are present too. So while concentrates and edibles are equally popular ways to medicate, most of the secondary compounds have already been burned off during the extraction process because it involves high heat. For this reason, many people especially those suffering from chronic pain don’t experience maximum relief when consuming concentrates. On top of all these awesome benefits, you also get much more flavor and terpenes when smoking flower. It makes the whole process of medicating so much more enjoyable.
With new research telling us that smoked cannabis flower being the top method of medicating for pain, it’s a good excuse to go out there and experiment with strains that are best known for combating pain. You can even mix it up with concentrates and edibles to enhance the symptom relief. There’s no limit to the relief you can get once you start trying cannabis for pain instead of pharmaceutical meds.
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