Updated on December 11, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
More and more patients with chronic conditions are using medical marijuana to reduce symptoms and increase their quality of life. Some patients with Tarlov cysts have joined in the relief to lessen the pain and discomfort that the cysts cause.
But, many medical marijuana patients haven’t used cannabis before, so they can get confused when they see all the medication options presented to them. You can use marijuana as medicine in all sorts of ways that can suit your condition and lifestyle.
Topicals and vaporizing can help manage the symptoms of Tarlov cysts. Knowing the difference between them can help you get the most out of your medical marijuana experience.
At first, Tarlov cysts don’t cause any symptoms at all, and some patients never deal with them. But, once they fill up with enough fluid to put pressure on the spinal cord nerves, they can cause symptoms such as:
Reducing pain is often a high priority for patients with Tarlov cysts, and marijuana is effective for achieving that goal.
New cannabis patients might think their new medicine only comes in the form of bud to smoke. However, you can buy all sorts of marijuana medications that serve different purposes. Depending on your condition and lifestyle preferences, you can medicate with:
The best treatment method for you depends on your symptoms, other health problems and lifestyle. Some patients use only one type of medication, while others combine more than one.
Vaporizing works as a safer alternative to smoking cannabis. When you smoke marijuana, the chemicals emitted by the cigarette can provide similar risks to tobacco smoke. But, vaporizing with equipment that reduces charring lets you inhale few to no chemicals.
Inhalation methods like vaping let you reduce your symptoms rapidly. However, the relief also has a shorter duration than other treatments like edibles.
Since the chemicals in marijuana circulate to the rest of your body after they reach your lungs, you feel the effects of vaping all over your body. So, if you feel pain in more than one location or in a place under the muscles and joints, vaporizing will let the relief spread to where you need it.
If you have a pain flare-up, smoking a vaporizer will help calm it down immediately. It’s especially useful when you experience an episode of bladder pain or headaches since the medicine can reach those areas.
The term “topical treatment” refers to a treatment applied to the skin like a lotion, patch or oil. For medical purposes, patients mainly use rub-on treatments like creams and patches.
The speed of your relief depends on the kind of topical you medicate with. Lotions and creams don’t have far to travel, so they kick in quickly and provide short symptom reduction. On the other hand, patches make the medication slowly build into your system, giving gradual relief all over.
Patients generally use lotions and creams for quick, localized treatment for aches and pains in the muscles and joints. For overall symptom relief, they apply a patch to reduce their pain all day long.
To get the most out of your marijuana medication, you should work with a medical marijuana-certified doctorto decide on a treatment plan. You can also talk to the budtenders at your local dispensary to see what they have to say about their products.
For more information about how cannabis can be used to treat Tarlov Cysts, check out our resources: