According to Governing Magazine, thirty states and the District of Columbia have broadly legalized medical marijuana use. This means that over half of the jurisdictions have taken legal action to make this substance available to the public. With such a widespread prevalence of medical marijuana, we wanted to explain how cannabidiol (CBD) can help people, especially with opioid addiction. CBD stands out as a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant, which contrasts with another component 9-THC (which causes the user to get high).
WHAT DOES RESEARCH SHOW ABOUT CBD?
On PubMed, we found a recent review of the medical literature and located many therapeutic effects of CBD that make this chemical useful for treating people with opioid addiction. For example, CBD has fewer side effects than other medications, which often include diarrhea, tiredness, and changes in appetite/weight. What's more, CBD can be used and has been used "at high doses for the treatment of a variety of conditions ranging in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and dementia, as well as diabetes and nausea."
What's more, CBD for pain has other pharmacological benefits. The same source reported that "At lower doses, it has physiological effects that promote and maintain health, including antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotection effects. For instance, CBD is more effective than vitamin C and E as a neuroprotective antioxidant and can ameliorate skin conditions such as acne."
UNDERSTANDING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
It's important for readers to understand another side of this CBD healing issue - which is a much more sound choice than to try obtaining opiate drugs legally through a doctor's prescription or illegally through the black market. Therefore, we want to consider how the opioid epidemic now affects the populace. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "From 1999-2016, more than 350,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids."
We were surprised and saddened to learn that there have been three major waves in the epidemic of death from drugs. In the 1990s, the surge in deaths from people involved opiate drugs. The second wave of deaths beginning in 2010 shifted to drugs containing heroin. Finally, the third wave of deaths began in 2013 and shifted to synthetic opioids, such as artificial fentanyl. This current version of the epidemic involves people dying from consumption of unknown quantities of a drug, which is marketed as a copy of the real drug. What's more, people consuming synthetic drugs may actually die from their body's interaction with other ingredients in the substance, including how it affects their current medications.
HOW CAN WE SOLVE CHRONIC PAIN?
At this point, readers are likely wondering what people with chronic pain and other health problems should do for their specific situation. At first, patients may associate CBD with medical marijuana even if they appreciate CBD's potential as an opiate alternative. However, many may be surprised to know that CBD can also be derived legally from hemp as we do. Nevertheless, these same patients need a long-term form of pain management, which is best determined by a treating physician. However, patients may not want to choose a pharmacy-based substance which causes addiction, which is the case with any opiate-based pill or patch. It's best to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each choice with your doctor.
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If you are looking to use CBD to help treat your chronic pain, please contact us to learn how we can help!