For those unaffected by them, spinal cord injuries are incomprehensible. They can be too horrific for the scope of most imagination, especially when victims lose feeling in legs and arms. Some even need help breathing. Paralysis is common, even if temporary. Patients often must rely on others to provide for their daily needs. Turns out, if you can find cannabis in Los Angeles, you have the best medicine for it.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
Of all possible injuries, one could possibly experience, those to the spinal cord are among the worst. Although rare, spinal cord injuries are so severe that they can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, a loss of strength, function, and sensation below the injury site. Estimates put victims in the United States at around 300,000 people, 80 percent of the males and nearly 12,000 new cases each year.
The pain of a leg or arm fracture, for example, is inconvenient and certainly discomforting. However, trauma to the spinal cord is potentially deadly. The spinal cord is integral to the central nervous system, controlling and coordinating physical activity. Its main job is to transmit messages between the brain and body, which is how you move around and feel different physical sensations.
A break or fracture compromises this ability, either completely by blocking communication entirely below the site of injury and causing paralysis, or incompletely by only partially preventing transmission. Severity also depends on where the injury occurs. The damage is frequently worse the higher the injured vertebra sits.
For example, a cervical injury, or one to a neck vertebra, may cause quadriplegia or paralysis from the neck down. Injury to a thoracic vertebra might cause paraplegia or paralysis from the torso down. As if losing mobility and feeling was not bad enough, spinal cord injuries have other side effects too, which include intense pain, insomnia, muscle spasms, and more, each with their own complications.
Cannabis is Analgesic
Chronic pain is a natural symptom of spinal cord injury. It is severe, intense, and can last months, years, even a lifetime after the injury occurs, in areas that these victims can both feel and not. The pain can be so bad it seriously affects the quality of life, making simple daily activities impossible. Fortunately, cannabis a famous analgesic, with painkilling qualities powerful enough to make life easier for sufferers.
Research shows cannabinoids activating specific endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body, and especially those located within the central nervous system, the area most affected by spinal cord injury. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabis relieves pain by regulating pain perception and combined with massage, results were incredibly and significantly effective.
Cannabis is Neuroprotective
Activating cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 early after spinal cord injury invokes a protective response crucial to recovery. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabis stimulates a neuroprotective response. This is a major discovery for spinal cord injuries. If the spinal cord recovers even partially from trauma, the result could be the difference between some dexterity and none.
Cannabis is Antispasmodic
One of the most common side effects of paralysis is spasticity. Interrupted communication between nerves prevents them from reaching the brain’s reflex control centre. The spinal cord moderates your body’s response, but not as well as the brain does. These disrupted signals cause spastic or overactive muscle responses, which range from mild tremors to truly violent shakedowns.
Frustrating and dangerous, these spasmodic episodes are frightening. However, cannabis is a famous antispasmodic. According to the British Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. J. Reynolds reported the antispasmodic effects of cannabis in The Lancet back in 1890 already. Other studies show as much as 70 percent of sufferers finding immense relief using cannabis, which is frankly an astounding figure.
Cannabis is Sedative
Sleep issue are a common side effect of spinal cord injuries. The pain alone keeps most awake at night, with sleep apnea a real problem. According to the American Association of Sleep Medicine, 77 percent of spinal cord injury victims struggle to breathe when asleep, and 92 percent suffered poor sleep quality. This is a risk factor for many other conditions, from hypertension and anxiety to even heart failure.
Furthermore, insufficient sleep weakens immunity, a massive problem for patients with spinal cord injuries and an already compromised immune system. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabis improves both quality and duration of sleep, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which makes falling asleep easier and quicker.
Anyone who has ever tried a potent Indica strain knows about the “couchlocking” effects of cannabis. Its tranquilizing properties are legendary. Additionally, cannabis also increases the length of Stage 4 sleep, also called REM sleep, the deepest sleep you can experience. Many studies prove cannabis effective for several sleep disorders, with some even proving it regulates and maintains healthy sleep patterns.
Cannabis Improves Mobility
Loss of motor function is a primary symptom of spinal cord injuries, afflicting most victims to varying degrees. While spinal cord damage is usually permanent, a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine showed cannabidiol, or CBD, improving mobility in rodents with similar injuries. The report claimed CBD aided locomotor functional recovery and reduced injury severity.
Although similar studies have yet to occur in clinical trials, these findings suggest huge therapeutic potential for cannabis in treating spinal cord lesions, as well as motor sensory and functioning in patients with spinal cord injuries. This is especially true if cannabinoid treatment begins shortly after the injury occurs.
Cannabis is Anti-Inflammatory
The anti-inflammatory properties are fast becoming widespread knowledge. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabinoids are already under study for novel anti-inflammatory drugs. It works by fighting inflammation at its source, the injury site, reducing swelling and associated inflammatory responses. This speeds recovery and the reconnection of neural communication.
Finding Cannabis in Los Angeles
If you are the victim of a spinal cord injury, then many doctors in California are willing to recommend cannabis for treatment. Because it remains federally illegal, research and funding has been difficult in the past. This is fast changing, however, and with more studies proving the benefits of cannabinoid therapy for traumatic injuries, including the spinal cord, it will soon become mainstream medicine.
You can find marijuana in Los Angeles at any licensed dispensary or retailer. You only need to be 21-years or older to access recreational marijuana or have a letter from your physician recommending its use for medicinal treatment. We know now that cannabis alleviates the side effects of spinal cord injury, with studies showing it restoring motor functioning too. For victims, this can be a lifesaver.