Cannabis has a variety of effects that we can benefit from, even if we would not consider ourselves of the stoner variety.
I first became interested in cannabis after hearing about how it helps individuals with chronic pain. I have severe scoliosis, with two major curves, so my spine looks like a backward capital S, and I received corrective surgery in 2015 to lessen the curvature at the bottom.
Scoliosis is a genetic disability that affects less than 4% of the entire population. It’s mostly an invisible disability unless you look closely, and the varying ways it can affect one’s body make it hard to get a clear consensus on the effects and, therefore, treatment. Some would even argue it doesn’t count as a disability at all.
Some people will go decades without ever knowing their spine curves, and it’s not uncommon to not have a perfectly straight spine for a variety of reasons.
I wore a full-body brace for three years, trying to force my spine into a space where it couldn’t continue to curve. At the time, I lived in Illinois, and anything cannabis- or hemp-related was illegal, including for medical uses.
The pain was debilitating at times but always present, and if I had known I could use something to manage it aside from relying on fistfuls of Advil, and if it was legal, this story would be different. Even if, due to my age at the time, I would’ve only had access to something like CBD lotion.
As my spine curved and compressed my nerves, I would often lose feeling in my legs or be unable to breathe because of the severe muscle imbalance my body created to work against the curve.
Even now, years later and fully healed from an anterior spinal fusion of seven vertebrae, I still have these symptoms. They’re arguably less debilitating, but some days are worse than others. The pain is chronic, and it likely will be this way for the rest of my life.
Using cannabis to ease my chronic pain has genuinely changed my life. I do not dread getting out of bed knowing I’ll come home with muscle spasms and tightness in my chest because when I’m home, I can actually relax and function as an employee, friend, family member and person without chronic pain coloring my world.”
Cannabis products can be used for pain management, and there are a variety of ways you can use them, including balms and lotions, eating edibles, smoking and more.
Indica-centered strains can help with pain management, especially if they’re also heavy in CBD. A body high can relieve tension while keeping you clearheaded.
Specific strain recommendations for chronic pain management are unknown, but based on consumer response, cannabis companies can usually give you a good picture of what the high is like. Leafly recommends choosing hybrid strains that are equal in THC and CBD for pain due to the need for body relaxation and getting your mind less focused on the pain.
ersonally, my chronic pain can flare up without warning, so I don’t want to wait an extended amount of time before I feel the effects of cannabis. I prefer to use a pen, and I love Bonanza’s Blue Dream Cartridge.
I would recommend anyone wanting to specifically smoke cannabis for pain relief use a vaporizing method — you don’t need it to creep up on you because the focus is to get the pain to ease up.
Blue Dream is THC dominant and sativa dominant, but it gives a balanced vibe, and I can work without pain radiating through my legs and spine.
Leafly is a great source for checking out strains, and it has a lot of pain-relief-focused strains it recommends. Jager is another strain that uses Blue Dream in its combination if you’re looking for some indica, THC-dominant bud.
Budtenders at Fort Collins dispensaries are very helpful in answering questions about strain choices and pain relief, nausea relief, appetite increase and more.
Using cannabis to ease my chronic pain has genuinely changed my life. I do not dread getting out of bed knowing I’ll come home with muscle spasms and tightness in my chest because when I’m home, I can actually relax and function as an employee, friend, family member and person without chronic pain coloring my world.