Pain due to chronic or terminal medical conditions is a problem throughout the world, and a number of countries have recognized that cannabis is a viable alternative treatment that helps patients handle their symptoms and retain a better quality of life.

In addition to the U.S., where more than 33 states have already legalized medical marijuana as a treatment either for a few very specific conditions or a list that includes a wider variety of medical issues, countries like Canada, Mexico, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil and Argentina have made strides to include marijuana in its treatment option pool.

Imarc Group used data collected to determine the global cannabis market could be worth $37 billion by 2023, meaning numerous other countries are weighing the decision to follow suit. The overwhelming public opinion in favour of marijuana use may weigh heavily in favour of that move, leading to the potential market value increase in the coming years.

The fact that marijuana is replacing drugs with numerous side effects and the heightened risk of addiction makes it a very appealing treatment option for patients in the U.S. Typically, the conditions treated are ongoing and have symptoms that continue to worsen over time. The exposure to prescribed medications leaves the patient with more problems than solutions, while the use of marijuana addresses the symptoms without introducing complicating factors.

Cannabis is effective at reducing nausea and is available in a number of products, allowing patients to find the one that delivers the medicine most efficiently and with the least amount of struggle or discomfort for the patient.

The introduction of cannabis as an alternative to opioids specifically is making a dent in the opioid addiction crisis currently facing the U.S., which is a welcome change for medical professionals who were struggling to find a way to avert the crisis effectively while treating the patients who need relief from the pain.

Meanwhile, while medical marijuana programs have different levels of complexity depending on the state where it was legalized, the overall efficiency of medical professionals deeming a patient eligible and the ensuing progress to access marijuana as an alternative treatment has been helping patients across the U.S. to live happier and pain-free lives.