Is Cannabis The Answer To The Opioid Epidemic
The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is not a new notion. Cannabis has been used for centuries. But as you know, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has made a reemergence as the medicinal plant is finally being (slowly) legalized, state by state. While it has been a lengthy process, recent studies suggest that people are beginning to prefer cannabis to treat their medical ailments over opioids. And as our nation struggles with an opioid addiction, we’d say the change in preference is a good thing.
Conducted by Kent state University and University of California Berkeley, the study found that patients living with chronic pain felt that using cannabis could help them use less opioid drugs to treat their pain. The study included 2,810 participants. 828 participants had used opioids in the past six months to manage their chronic pain. Ninety seven percent of this group either agreed or strongly agreed that they could reduce their opioid use when used in conjunction with cannabis. Eighty nine percent of the group also felt that taking opioids to manage their pain resulted in unwanted side effects. The possibility of reducing opioid use with the help of cannabis turned out to be an attractive option for participants. Researchers determined that, “this study can conclude that medical cannabis patients report successfully using cannabis along with or as a substitute for opioid-based pain medication.”
The study also concluded that “81 percent ‘strongly agreed/agreed’ that taking cannabis by itself was more effective at treating their condition than taking cannabis with opioids.”
While based on personal preferences, the study revealed that people are looking to cannabis as an alternative to deadly and addictive opioids. Hopeful news for our country as a killer opioid sweeps the nation. Studies like these may open the door to future scientific studies that have the potential to demonstrate long term effects, effectiveness and maybe even more ways to improve lives.
The acceptance of cannabis as treatment over opioids may prove to be a step in the right direction as we continue to struggle with an epidemic that is currently killing nearly 100 people per day. The days of misused opioids that result in injury, addiction and even death must be numbered and cannabis may be the key to helping people defeat their addictions and save their lives.