Medical Marijuana Access for Patients with Chronic Pain in Virginia

Chronic pain Medical marijuana is becoming widely known as a safe and efficient treatment for chronic pain.

It’s also considered an affordable treatment that dates back to the 70s. Because it lacks the side effects of traditional medications, medical marijuana is highly desirable for reducing pain in those who are unable to take pills or receive injections.

There is a general interest among patients and healthcare professionals about the benefits of medical cannabis for a variety of conditions, most commonly for pain relief. Some studies have concluded that medical cannabis may be an alternative to opioids.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), medical marijuana has been used in many treatments for more than 3,000 years for a number of conditions, including pain relief, digestive issues, and psychological disorders.

A study published by Health Affairs found that there were over 600,000 registered medical cannabis patients in 2016 and over 800,000 a year later in 2017.

The data showed that 85.5 percent of these people with a license to take medical marijuana were using it to seek treatment for “evidence-based conditions., with chronic pain at the top of the list.

Can Patients with Chronic Pain Qualify for Medical Marijuana in VA?


Chronic pain is one of the conditions that Virginia qualifies for medical marijuana. You need to get a recommendation from medical cannabis licensed doctor first as well as apply for a medical marijuana card. Visit our Virginia page to know more.

The Current State of Chronic Pain in Virginia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 20.4% of adults in America had chronic pain in 2019. Among these adults, 7.4% experienced high-impact chronic pain that frequently limited life or work activities.

Years of research suggest that CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main components of medical marijuana can be useful in blocking pain associated with various medical conditions. These chemicals bind with receptors in the brain, blocking the transmission of pain signals.

Two-thirds of chronic pain patients who have taken medical cannabis report health benefits including improved pain management and sleep.

According to a Harvard study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the six chronic pain patients who took medical marijuana saw a reduction in their pain levels.

Another study published in the Journal of Pain from the University of Michigan found that using medical marijuana decreased side effects of other pain medications, reduced opioid usage by 64 percent in pain patients, and improved the quality of life of subjects.

What is Chronic Pain? Types of chronic

A type of pain that can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away. The pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years.

Chronic pain is often linked to conditions such as:

  • Headache
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Nerve pain
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia

A great percentage of the population in America, especially the aging population, is disabled by chronic pain. Researchers estimate that 50 million adults in the United States are dealing with chronic pain. This kind of pain is the foremost reason why patients choose to use medical marijuana.

Types of Chronic Pain

  • Moderate Persistent Pain: 3+ pain scores, >= 4, with at least 30 days but no more than 365 days between scores.
  • Severe Persistent Pain: 3+ pain scores, >= 7, with at least 30 days but no more than 365 days between scores.
  • Chronic Pain Related Diagnosis: 2 outpatient or 1 inpatient ICD code of a given condition in the current quarter or 4 quarters prior.

Causes of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain often starts with an injury or painful condition such as:

  • Arthritis and other joint problems Causes of chronic
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve damage
  • Lyme disease
  • Broken bones
  • Cancer
  • Acid reflux or ulcers
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Surgery

Impact on the lifestyle of Chronic Pain

People suffering from high-impact chronic pain have difficulty with self-care activities like getting dressed, going to the bathroom, cooking, and other self-care chores. They also miss more workdays than those without chronic pain.

Types of Chronic Pain Treatments

There are a variety of treatments including therapy, nerve blocks, pain medication, and surgery.

Medical cannabis has become the choice for some chronic pain patients. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons why people opt to get medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana: The Alternative Route

Medical cannabis is a breakthrough in the treatment of chronic pain. It has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and until now, it has been one of the most effective medicines for chronic pain.

The main reason for this is that it has fewer side effects and it is better tolerated.

Patients with chronic pain can qualify for medical marijuana. You can get a medical marijuana card and a recommendation from a licensed mmj doctor. Visit TeleLeaf RX  or contact us today.

Get Your Medical Card