About Acute Pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines Acute Pain as, “Pain caused by occurrences such as traumatic injury, surgical procedures, or medical disorders”. Another definition from the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association defines acute pain as, “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage.

 

According to the two definitions, the symptoms of acute pain often include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, shallow breathing, agitation or restlessness. Symptoms arise suddenly, or slowly, ranging in intensity from mild to severe, and are usually predictable and temporary in nature.

 

What Causes Acute Pain

 

Pain is a perception rooted in sensation. Biologically, it is the perception of the receptor [neurons] being stimulated. Throughout the body, there are special sensory neurons, or [nociceptors], that “translate” stimuli to more central parts of the nervous system, such as the spinal cord and brain. When cells experience damage, they release a mixture of acidic chemicals into the area around the nociceptors provoking the sensory neurons into a state called [hyperalgesia] - Greek for “Super Pain”. 

 

These biochemical “signals” are transmitted to the [synapses] of the dorsal horns of the spinal cord. From there, most signals go to the [thalamus] to be distributed to other various processing centers, but some also go to the [reticular formation] (governs alertness) and to the [amygdala] (a part of the [limbic system] involved in emotion).

 

Due to the body’s natural immune response to inflammation, physical injury typically produces acute pain. As well, medical conditions such as Fibromyalgia, arthritis, [Sciatica], [Endometriosis], [Sickle Cell Disease], migraines and headaches, kidney stones, Appendicitis, [Gout], [Acute pancreatitis], etc. can cause acute pain so disabling that they prevent the ability to perform basic daily tasks.

 

Normal Treatment Methods

 

Traditionally, modern medicine has turned to [opiates] and [Opioids] to help patients cope with acute pain. Opiates such as Morphine, Codeine, Heroin, and Opium are alkaloids derived from the opium poppy plant, while Opioids are chemically synthesized pain medications such as Methadone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, etc. that are manufactured to work similarly to derived Opiates.

 

The brain and spinal cord actually have their own opioids, specifically enkephalin, endorphin, and dynorphin. The body produces these opioids naturally to activate cells into a state of [hypoalgesia], or a reduced experience of pain.

 

Normally, modern medicine treats acute pain with Opiates and Opioids such as those listed above. According to a 2017 report by the [CDC], between 1999 and 2015 more than 183,000 people have died in the US from overdoses related to prescription opioids.

 

Over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen, and Acetaminophen, or [NSAIDs], are also commonly used to treat acute pain. However, according to multiple warnings regarding NSAIDs by the [FDA], if used habitually over time they could increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and liver damage.

 

How Medical Cannabis Can Help With Acute Pain

 

Opioids and NSAIDs are able to reduce symptoms of acute pain by inhibiting the enzyme [cyclooxygenase] (COX-1, 2, and 3) from synthesizing different types of [prostanoids], specifically COX-2, that are responsible for inducing the body’s inflammatory responses.

 

In the early 1990’s, it was discovered that humans have an endogenous physiological [endocannabinoid system] that regulates homeostasis and bodily functions such as appetite, sleep, anxiety levels, and cognition.

 

This system innately produces [cannabinoids], named after the plant in which they were first discovered. Cannabinoids and their receptors (CB1 CB2, etc.) are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.

 

Endogenous cannabinoids such as Anandamide and the better-known exogenous phytocannabinoids THC, CBD, and CDN stimulate the CB1 and CB2 [receptors] of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are able to modulate nociception and the bodies opioid production system, which is why cannabis works so well at relieving acute pain. The phytocannabinoids found in marijuana supplement the body’s endocannabinoid system and have been shown to effectively reduce pain and inflammation.

 

Strains to Try

 

Particular strains of marijuana have varying profiles of cannabinoids. As well, individuals have varying amounts of endocannabinoid receptors expressed.

 

That means that each person will experience the effects of marijuana differently. The method of administration (smoking, [vaporizing], ingestion, [topical] ) will also have varying effects.

 

Thanks to advancing scientific understanding of how cannabinoids affect our biology, cannabis geneticists are able to create strains that can treat specific conditions like acute pain.

 

Marijuana strains that work well for treating acute pain include:

 

·   [[AK-47]]

·   [[Death Bubba]]

·   [[Amnesia White]]

·   [[Death Star]]

·   [[Asian Fantasy]]

·   [[Dr. Grinspoon]]

·   [[Big White]]

·   [[El Diablo OG]]

·   [[Black Diamond]]

·   [[Exodus Cheese]]

·   [[Blueberry Haze]]

·   [[Fire OG]]

·   [[Cannatonic]]

·   [[Golden Ticket]]

·   [[Chemdawg 4]]

·   [[Green Crack]]

·   [[Cherry Diesel]]

·   [[Green Dragon]]

·   [[Columbian Gold]]

·   [[Cream Caramel]]

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/table/T1/

 

Top Strains That May Help With Acute Pain

Hybrid
1 Review
Hybrid