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Using THC for Nerve Pain

by in Uncategorized July 8, 2024

How and Why It Works To Address Neuropathy

THC is the real MVP. Again.

Neuropathy, plainly called nerve pain, is a curious ailment. It affects an estimated 20 million Americans, but not all in the same way.

For some, it’s a debilitating force that drives sharp, shooting pains and burning sensations. For others, it’s more of an annoyance that causes numbness, tingling, and slight achiness. And many patients find themselves somewhere in between.

No matter where you land on the pain scale, dealing with nerve pain is exhausting, especially if opioids aren’t doing the trick for you. Fortunately, there’s a magical little plant that’s been used to treat nerve pain for millennia, and there’s a good chance it’s legal in some form or fashion in your state.

Cannabis is showing promise as a solid treatment option for neuropathy. In particular, using THC for nerve pain is offering solace to patients in a way opioids seem to fall short.

How THC Works for Nerve Pain

Cannabis is full of chemical compounds called phytocannabinoids, or sometimes just cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but you may have also heard of CBN, CBG, and others. These compounds stimulate our Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

The ECS is responsible for maintaining balance in the body, and it does so by releasing endocannabinoids to activate its two receptors: CB1 and CB2. Weed’s phytocannabinoids do the same thing to those receptors, and THC loves to mingle with CB1.

CB1 is prevalent in the central nervous system, where a person feels nerve pain. Put simply, CB1 receptors in the brain are involved with pain signaling. Studies show that when THC stimulates them, those pain signals are blocked.

CB2 receptors help to regulate inflammation. Although THC doesn’t have much interest in CB2, some of the plant’s other phytocannabinoids do, including CBD. Their actions on CB2 help to reduce inflammation as well as decreasing the activity of pain pathways.

Studies Support Using THC for Nerve Pain

More studies are needed, but what we’ve learned so far has revealed two important details when it comes to treating neuropathy with THC:

  • Most patients who were studied used inhaled cannabis, specifically by smoking flower
  • The best results have been seen in flower with a high THC content

A study from the Netherlands tested 20 patients with chronic fibromyalgia pain using three different marijuana strains. It found the strain with the highest THC content to be the most effective, and it also determined dosing CBD with a low amount of THC didn’t do much more than the placebo dose.

A survey performed by NuggMD last year turned up similar results. Participants who used weed reported about the same or greater relief when compared to opioid treatment. This survey also confirmed using high-THC products for nerve pain as the most effective cannabis option.

Another 2023 study reviewed patients suffering from neuropathy due to spinal cord injuries. The majority of participants who saw a reduction in nerve pain from the use of cannabis reported their pain dropped more than 30%; nearly 20% saw a pain reduction of almost 75%.

Research is still needed to draw a definitive conclusion about using THC for nerve pain, but study after study demonstrates its effectiveness. So far, several types of nerve pain and weed’s effects on them have been studied, including:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal injuries
  • HIV-related neuropathy
  • Trauma-related neuropathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Diabetes-related neuropathy

Most found at least some or most participants reported reduced feelings of pain after using cannabis.

Check out our Sources list at the bottom of this page for links to several studies supporting the use of THC for nerve pain.

What To Smoke for Nerve Pain

Many of the studies that saw positive results in using THC for nerve pain had patients smoking weed as opposed to ingesting it. Some also used vaporizers or cannabis inhalers. At this point, inhaled cannabis seems to be the way to go for neuropathy treatment.

When talking with your budtender, ask them for strains high in THC, preferably 20% or higher. You could also consider exploring strains high in pain-reducing terpenes like myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, etc., though there isn’t much research on terpenes and neuropathy specifically.


Get Access to Medical Marijuana

If you’re interested in using THC for neuropathy, a medical marijuana card can help.

Even in states with recreational weed, like Missouri, having an MMJ card saves you a ton of money in taxes. In states like Arkansas and Oklahoma, where rec isn’t legal yet, a medical card is the only way to get access to legal medical marijuana.

Ozark MMJ Cards can help you secure your MMJ card in any of those three states, with more locations coming soon. We offer same-day appointments and can answer any questions you might have about using THC for nerve pain or using THC in general.

In fact, we would love to answer any questions you may have about using weed—it’s kind of our thing.



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