How to Use Medical Marijuana to Stop Pain Medication

Medical Marijuana to Quit Pain Medicine

Opiate pain medication is often used in chronic pain treatment.  Currently, there is not enough biological and physical understanding of chronic pain.  Prescription pain medication can create a psychological and physical dependence, by their nature.  Breaking the physical dependence of opiate pain medication is difficult, so being able to use medical marijuana to stop pain medication is quite helpful.

So, how to use medical marijuana to stop pain medication?  First, make sure that medical marijuana is legal in your state.  There are only 14 states that have legalized medical marijuana.  Each state has made their own laws that govern medical marijuana.  For example, the allowable amount of medical marijuana varies from state to state, and your medical marijuana certification does not necessarily transfer.  The laws are vague, so it is very important that you learn and follow it.  The last thing you want to do is put yourself on the mercy of the law/police, who are torn between federal and state inconsistencies.  Go through the process in your state to legally obtain medical marijuana, for example, here is how to get approved for medical marijuana in WA State.

Use the Best Medical Marijuana

Once you are able to legally obtain your marijuana then you seek the best kind.  There are several types of marijuana.  Start reading up on the best types of marijuana for your condition.  Ask the medical marijuana dispensary for their recommendation.  There are strains of medical marijuana that work well for pain while providing clarity (or a not-so-stoned feeling), but regardless, you will have to do a little bit of experimenting.  The goal is to use medical marijuana to stop pain medication.

While testing the medical marijuana to stop pain medication remember these two tips:  try marijuana edibles and use your dispensary as a resource.  Finding the best medical marijuana strain and route of ingesting are key to your success while using it to reduce opiate pain medication.  One of the best and most productive ways to use medical marijuana for reducing other medications is to use a vaporizer or eat marijuana edibles.  If you vaporize medical marijuana it makes it stronger, last longer, and you can use less.  The other way to do it is via marijuana edibles or making THC capsules.  Of course, not everyone who qualifies to use medical marijuana is going to want to smoke it.  The aforementioned methods are smoking alternatives.

Why Use Medical Marijuana as Replacement?

Using marijuana to lower opiate use.

Use medical marijuana to stop pain medication

The medical marijuana will be a crucial part of your taper off of pain medication.  Some might say that you are replacing one pain medicine for another by substituting medical marijuana for narcotic pain relievers, but the gravity of opiate use needs to be weighed.  Are you replacing one drug for another?  Yes!  Who cares?  The result, assuming that medical marijuana is an appropriate fit for you, will be using less opiates.  A smaller amount of opiates in your system is a positive thing because the physical side effects of pain meds is often hard to tolerate — chronic constipation, physical dependence, depression, increased tolerance, increased pain, expensive, increased respiratory problems, and more.  It is the same thing as switching from Ibuprofen to medical marijuana, a medication that isn’t going to cause stomach bleeding.

Medical marijuana has been found to be extremely effective as reducing pain.  At the same time, it is a much safer than opiates or confusingly classed medications like Ultram/Tramadol, a dangerous med.

How to Use Medical Marijuana Taper

Start using the medical marijuana to stop the pain medication as soon as possible (once you’re ready).  If you’re a chronic pain patient then it’s likely you are on scheduled medication times.  Cut down on breakthrough pain medicine.  For example, if you take two Percocet every six hours (eight per day) for breakthrough, but the medical marijuana is working for pain control then reduce the amount to one Percocet every six hours (seven per day) and so on.  You don’t want to abruptly cut the amount to zero because this can start withdrawals.  The abrupt cessation can increase pain, so that’s why it’s important to use medical marijuana to stop pain medication slowly.  Write down your information, if necessary.  Use this step down approach until you no longer need pills for breakthrough pain.

If you are ready to stop or reduce larger quantities or long-acting medications like Methadone or Oxycontin then you should talk to your doc.  Stopping medications like Methadone can be more tricky because it has a longer half life and takes longer to get out of your body.  If you use medical marijuana to stop pain medication like Methadone then you must listen to your body.  Your body will tell you if you are tapering too fast.  Medical marijuana can enable you to get to a point where you have cut your medicine in half.  Even though it is medical marijuana you should watch your dose with it.   Always be sure to go slow and use medical marijuana safely.  Before starting any new medication, including marijuana, you should check interactions to prevent prescription medication problems.

Disclaimer:  This is not intended to cure, treat, or diagnosis any medical disease or disorder.  Always consult a trusted physician for proper medical care.


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