In an increasing number of states, the legislatures have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. (Ten states and the District of Columbia have made recreational use legal, usually in addition to medical use.) As a consequence, many people have become interested in the potential of this botanical product as medication. One reader reports that she uses marijuana oil to alleviate pain.
Can Marijuana Oil Relieve Nerve Pain?
Q. I have had great results from marijuana oil for neuropathy. Last year, I had extreme pain in my feet at night. They were so swollen I had trouble putting my shoes on in the morning. Consequently, I could not be as active as usual.
I took prescribed gabapentin for the pain. When I read in your column about natural approaches such as benfotiamine, curcumin and alpha-lipoic acid, I started taking them. Almost all my neuropathy symptoms disappeared, and I no longer need the gabapentin.
I still get occasional foot pain at night, however. It is instantly relieved by topical marijuana oil. My doctor said many of his patients are finding it helpful for pain. I live in an upscale retirement community and a large number of people here are using marijuana oil to relieve pain without side effects.
A. Cannabis-based medicines have some scientific support for chronic pain (Pain Physician, Sept. 2017). In states where medicinal marijuana is unavailable, some people are using cannabidiol (CBD) oil instead. That is because this cannabis-derived compound does not make people high and has become widely available without a prescription.
To sum up, scientists believe more clinical research would help them explore its pain-relieving potential. As a result, researchers are actively exploring topical use of cannabis-based medicines such as marijuana oil (Molecules, Sep. 27, 2018). Your friends in the retirement community should consider the possibility of interactions with their other medications.
If you are interested in medical uses of marijuana oil or other cannabis-based compounds, you might want to listen to our interview with Dr. David Casarett. It is Show 1027: How One Doctor Changed His Mind About Medical Marijuana.