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The Role of Cannabinoids in Pain Management

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As the legalization of cannabis continues to spread across the globe, Thailand is emerging as a promising market for cannabis delivery services. With the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids gaining recognition, more people are turning to cannabis as a natural alternative to traditional pain management methods. The potential of cannabis in the medical realm cannot be understated, which is why we want to explore the intersection of cannabinoids and pain relief. 

Types of cannabinoids and their effects on pain

When it comes to managing pain, cannabinoids have emerged as a potential solution. These compounds, which are found in the cannabis plant, have been found to have a wide range of effects on the body, including pain relief. The two most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), but there are also other lesser-known cannabinoids that are being studied for their potential benefits in pain management.

The Cannabinoid THC

THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, has been shown to have pain-relieving properties. Research suggests that THC can reduce pain and inflammation by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a role in regulating pain, mood, and appetite. According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Pain Research, THC can reduce pain intensity and improve sleep quality in patients with chronic pain.

The Cannabinoid CBD
CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and has been found to have the potential for reducing nerve pain and inflammation. A 2018 study published in the journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management found that CBD was effective in reducing pain and improving sleep in patients with chronic pain related to multiple sclerosis (MS). Another study published in the European Journal of Pain found that topical application of CBD reduced pain and inflammation in rats with arthritis.

Lesser-known Cannabinoids

In addition to THC and CBD, there are other lesser-known cannabinoids that are being studied for their potential in pain management. Cannabigerol (CBG) has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, while cannabinol (CBN) has been found to have potential as a sleep aid. A 2020 review published in the Journal of Cannabis Research concluded that there is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids for pain management, but more research is needed to fully understand the effects of different cannabinoids on pain.

Examples of studies on the use of cannabinoids for pain management

Studies have shown that cannabinoids have promising potential in pain management. Two notable examples are the 2019 study “Tetrahydrocannabinol/Cannabidiol Oromucosal Spray for Multiple Sclerosis-Related Resistant Spasticity” by Diego Centonze et al and the 2018 study “Cannabidiol in Patients with Chronic Pain” by Ethan B. Russo.

In the study by Centonze et al, patients with multiple sclerosis-related spasticity were given an oromucosal spray containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The study found that the spray was effective in reducing spasticity and improving patients’ quality of life.

The study by Russo focused on the use of CBD in patients with chronic pain. The study found that CBD was effective in reducing pain and improving sleep in patients with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and rheumatoid arthritis.

These studies demonstrate the potential of cannabinoids in pain management and suggest that further research is needed to explore their effectiveness in treating different types of pain. As more research is conducted, it is becoming increasingly clear that cannabinoids have the potential to be a safe and effective alternative to traditional pain management medications.

Cannabinoids in Thai Traditional Medicine

Traditional Thai medicine (TTM) is a holistic approach to healthcare that has been practiced in Thailand for over a thousand years. TTM is known for its use of natural remedies, including herbs and plants, to treat a wide range of conditions. One such remedy that has been used in TTM for centuries is cannabis.

Cannabis has been used in TTM to treat a variety of ailments, including pain and inflammation. In fact, some of these treatments have been documented in ancient texts of TTM, such as the “Lanna Thai Medicine Texts.” These texts describe the use of cannabis in combination with other herbs to relieve pain and promote relaxation.

One example of the use of cannabinoids in TTM is the practice of luk pra kob, which involves the application of a heated herbal compress to the body. The compress is typically made from a combination of herbs, including cannabis, and is used to relieve pain and promote relaxation. The heat from the compress helps to increase blood flow to the affected area, while the herbs provide additional therapeutic benefits.

In modern-day Thailand, TTM practitioners continue to use cannabis and cannabinoids for pain management. The Thai government recently legalized recreational cannabis, but that wasn’t the first major shift in policy regarding this plant. Thailand legally recognized the potential for treating a variety of conditions, which resulted in the country becoming the first Southeast Asian country to legalize medical cannabis, paving the way for further research on its medical applications.


Cannabinoids have shown promising potential in the management of pain, with research indicating their effectiveness in reducing inflammation, nerve pain, and spasticity. The intersection of cannabinoids and traditional medicine, particularly in the context of Thai traditional medicine, has revealed the historical use of cannabis for pain relief and relaxation. 

As the use of cannabinoids becomes more mainstream, it is important to continue conducting research and integrating traditional medicinal practices to optimize their potential for pain management. Overall, the combination of cannabinoids and traditional medicine presents a promising avenue for those seeking alternative solutions to pain relief.

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About author
Cenk Cetin is a cannabis tech entrepreneur based in Thailand. He is dedicated to the digital transformation of retailers and has a can-do mentality to any task related.
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