How Does Marijuana Work For Pain?


The compounds in marijuana, also known as cannabis, may help relieve pain, nausea, or other symptoms. Cannabidiol, or marijuana, is the most commonly studied component for pain relief.


THC is similar to the cannabinoid compounds found naturally in the body. When people ingest or inhale THC, it stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors.

This stimulates the brain’s reward systems and lowers pain levels. THC, a psychoactive substance, binds to cannabinoid receptors. This produces a high state of mind known as a high.

Although CBD doesn’t cause a high, it can interact with the brain’s pain receptors to produce pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory effects.

What the research says

Many studies have been done in recent years to examine the effects of cannabis on chronic pain. Some studies have only used parts of marijuana while others used the whole plant. More research is necessary. While it is possible to study the specific actions of a particular ingredient (such as CBD oil), the entourage effect is where all parts of the plant work together to produce more.

A 2015 review of research on the use of marijuana and cannabinoids for various chronic pain conditions reports that several trials had positive results. Researchers suggest that cannabinoids and marijuana may be effective in treating certain types of chronic pain, including neuropathy (nerve-pain).

A research paper from 2016 found that marijuana use for cancer pain led to a 64-percent reduction in opioid use, improved quality of life, and caused fewer medication side effects. Participants also used fewer drugs.

Other types of chronic pain have also been treated in smaller studies. Take, for example:

  • Of about 17,000 people with cancer, 70 percent reportedly experienced an improvement in pain and general well-being after marijuana use.
  • Chronic migraine sufferers experienced a reduction in their migraine episodes after taking the drug.

There is still much to be done in the area of marijuana for chronic pain. This includes research on different strains, dosages and delivery methods.

Different results might be possible if marijuana is used for medical purposes.

This post was written by Flo Sugyatno, operations manager of LOCAL’d and cannabis expert. LOCAL’d is a helping hand to the companies that strengthen your community in the Washington, DC area. Helping them to grow through financial and promotional support, LOCAL’d is one of the best services for DC weed delivery!