Does Herniated or Bulging Disc Pain Qualify For Medical Marijuana in Florida?
- Does chronic pain caused by a herniated or bulging disc qualify patients for a Florida medical marijuana card?
- How safe and effective is medical marijuana at treating spinal pain?
- Many patients suffering from chronic pain in Florida are finding that medical marijuana does, indeed, relieve or lessen their pain.
Did you know that chronic pain caused by herniated or bulging discs is among the top conditions for which patients are signing up for a Florida medical marijuana card? That’s no surprise considering that, at some point, 80 percent of the US population will suffer from these conditions. And with the oldest population in the country, the numbers are even higher.
Herniated or bulging discs incur a cost of $100 billion annually due to disability, insurance claims, and prohibitively expensive treatments. Tragically, in addition to the economic impact, many individuals will develop dangerous dependencies and addictions to powerful opioids. And over-the-counter medications are often not effective in relieving the excruciating pain.
Medical marijuana in its many forms might offer a safe and effective relief for disc pain at an affordable cost. But does the condition qualify under Florida’s medical marijuana laws? Fortunately, here in Florida, medical marijuana doctors are being given the final say in whether or not a patient might benefit from having access to a medical marijuana dispensary.
What Are Herniated or Bulging Discs?
Soft discs located between the vertebrae in the spine act as shock absorbers. When they get damaged or bulge they can impinge on nerves and cause acute pain.
As the body ages, wear and tear on spinal discs can lose the fluid that makes them spongy and pliable. The discs slowly start to degenerate and they gradually become harder and flatter. Many spinal issues start in early adulthood, although it generally makes an appearance between the ages of 35-50.
These conditions are known as a herniated disc, ruptured disc, slipped disc, or bulging disc. However, there is a subtle difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc. A herniated disc is far more likely to incur inflammation and pain. Fluid leakage and extreme protrusion cause irritation and compression of nerve roots.
How Does Medical Marijuana Help Treat Pain Caused By Herniated or Bulging Discs?
The evidence is mounting that medical marijuana offers a safe, effective treatment for pain due to bulging and herniated, and degenerating discs. Florida marijuana doctors concur. Many believe medical cannabis to be superior to opioids and other pharmaceuticals commonly used for treating pain with no harmful side effects.
Medical marijuana also has the added benefit of potentially relieving insomnia, depression, and anxiety that plagues patients with excruciating disc pain. A good night’s sleep and a positive attitude are imperative when attempting to heal from bouts of chronic pain.
In a recent project, researchers at the University of Colorado’s Spine Center looked at 200 patients who had back pain due to herniated and bulging disc pain. Not surprisingly, 89 percent of the participants who partook in cannabis treatment reported a moderate to profound cessation of their pain. And 81percent of the patients claimed that medical marijuana was far more effective than their prescribed narcotic painkillers. The same participants stated that they only used medical marijuana once or twice a day for significant relief.
Another recent study published in Current Neuropharmacology reported how and why medical cannabis is proving to be an effective back pain treatment.
In 1999, a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) claimed that treatment with cannabinoids helped reduce neuropathic and acute pain, especially post-operative and spinal cord injury pain.
How To Use MMJ To Treat Herniated Or Bulging Discs
Numerous delivery methods exist for ingesting medical marijuana.
Smoking flower, vaping (buds or cannabis oil cartridges), edibles such as gummies, chewing gum, capsules, tinctures beverages, baked goods, and topical creams or ointments are some of the other ways to effectively introduce cannabinoids into the body for symptom-relief.
Most first time users of medical marijuana will need to experiment with various options to determine the optimal method for their medical condition and lifestyle.
In any case, it’s always sensible to start with a low dosage and go slow when beginning a medical cannabis treatment regime. Most medical professionals suggest taking the lowest possible dose initially and increase the amount incrementally until the optimum dose is determined.
Smoking Marijuana And Vaping Cannabis Oil To Relieve Disc Pain
Smoking marijuana flower is historically one of the most popular delivery methods among medical marijuana users. Inhalation produces almost instantaneous results. That being said smoking and vaping are not advised for anyone with respiratory, vascular, or high blood pressure issues.
Cannabis-Infused Capsules, Gummies, And Beverages For Disc Pain
Cannabis oil capsules as well as cannabis-infused gummies, chewing gum, and beverages offer an easy, non-invasive way to obtain the benefits of medical marijuana orally. These products melt rapidly in the stomach. The effects take a little longer to kick in but they last also longer. This makes these products for bedtime use. Oral products come in a range of potencies and offer a safe way to enjoy the pain-relieving properties of medical marijuana.
Cannabis-Infused Baked Goods
Cannabis oil-infused brownies, cookies, muffins, and so forth can be purchased ready-made or can be concocted at home. Edibles provide a long-lasting and potent way to consume medical marijuana. Because they take longer to digest, baked edibles may take up to an hour or more to reach full effect.
Tinctures are oils infused with concentrated cannabis extracts or pure cannabinoid isolate. They come equipped with a measured dropper for accurate dosing. Tinctures are used sublingually (under the tongue) where the cannabinoids can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Cannabis-Infused Pain Creams
Topical pain creams are the least invasive medical marijuana products. The affected area can be targeted for relief. Some topicals are non-intoxicating.
Medical marijuana products containing THC may only be purchased by patients with a Florida medical marijuana card. However, non-intoxicating products containing only CBD might also be effective and can be purchased over the counter. Patients can also order CBD oil online.
To explore medical marijuana options available for treating herniated and bulging disc pain patients are strongly advised to avoid self-medicating with illicit drugs and contact a Florida medical marijuana doctor. They generally will walk patients through the entire process, help them get a Florida medical marijuana card and find a properly licensed Florida dispensary.
How To Get Certified for Herniated or Bulging Disc Pain
The first step in getting a Florida medical marijuana card for the chronic pain associated with Herniated or Bulging Disc is to visit with a medical marijuana doctor. If already certified, the renewal process can be done online using MedCard telemedicine.