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Can Medical Marijuana Halt the Use of Opioids?

Can Medical Marijuana Halt the Use of Opioids

Known as a powerful remedy for treating chronic pain, opioids can provide relief. However, the negative effects of opioids are becoming more dangerous.

According to a report from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, opioids such as oxycodone, morphine, and hydrocodone are reasons for overdose incidents and addiction rates doubling. Irresponsible intake of opioids is now the number one cause of death in America. This ‘opioid crisis’ has led researchers and doctors to look for alternative medications to cure severe body pains.

Their study has presented various options but ended up with an unusual choice: the use of medical marijuana or medical cannabis.

Marijuana was discovered to have many therapeutic usages. For example, two of its active chemicals—cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) —can influence the mind without becoming high and can produce pain relieving elements.

Opioids and medical cannabis also share the same component called analgesia, a widely-used painkiller. Analgesia has the capability to block pain signals in the nervous system.

Jeff Chen, the Director of New Cannabis Research Initiative in UCLA, said, “We’re not just saying opioids make you feel good and so does cannabis, and now you’re addicted to cannabis. There are direct reasons why this could actually help people get off opioids. If there is a chronic pain component, the cannabis can address the chronic pain component. We also find opioid addicts have a lot of neurological inflammation, which we believe is driving the addictive cycle. We see in preliminary studies that cannabinoids can reduce neurological inflammation, so cannabis could be directly addressing the inflammation in the brain that’s leading to opioid dependency.”

Presenting medical marijuana as the newest antidote for chronic pain is actually an easy part. Legalizing it is a completely different story.

What Would Happen If Medical Marijuana Were Widely Prohibited?

Authorizing a law is not a simple task. There are many factors that need consideration. For example, what is the sole purpose of the law and how will it affect the society?

In all 50 states in the United States, only 29 have passed rules for permitting the use of medical cannabis. But because medical cannabis is uncharted territory, the remaining states cannot be blamed for not yet legalizing.

Despite the doubts, researchers and scientists are continuing to look for more proof that the so-called ‘forbidden drug’ is effective in curing body pains. But the discoveries continue. It’s been proven that cannabis has the ability to alleviate or cure symptoms of ailments such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

In a study provided by Medicare, officials found out that when the medical cannabis dispensaries were opened, the number of prescriptions made for all opioids have been reduced by 3.742 million.

Medicare added, “In medical marijuana laws, states typically specify a list of conditions that are eligible for medical marijuana, and most states have included in the list generic terms such as ‘severe pain’, ‘chronic pain’, or intractable pain unrelieved by standard medical treatment and medications.”

Medical Marijuana Paving A Way For Companies To Be Successful

Experts mentioned that by the year 2025, the market value of medical marijuana is predicted to reach $55.8 billion. The demand for medical marijuana allows companies that cater to the growing market to be recognized.

  • Green House. Green House is a well-known company in the Netherlands that has popular consumption clubs, globetrotting documentaries, and prominent genetics. The company is working side-by-side with its sister brand called Strain Hunters. Arjan Roskam is the founder of Green House.
  • Organa Brands. Chris Driessen heads the Colorado-based company. He is working to make Organa Brands the biggest and best cannabis corporation in the USA.
  • Canopy Growth. Being able to achieve a market cap of $3.8 billion, Canopy Growth is a force to be reckoned with. The Ontario-based firm manufactures and markets oil extracts, strains, and marijuana edibles. Bruce Linton is the CEO of the startup company.

Over the years, the healthcare industry has come up with many medical innovations that helped patients suffering from different illnesses. Using medical marijuana as the alternative medication for chronic pain is going to affect and potentially change negative impressions of medical marijuana.

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