Description: Opioid crisis has been affecting the country's economy and people's lives. Fortunately, the legalization of medical marijuana is helping reduce the spread of the opioid crisis.
The opioid crisis has been a real challenge in America as there are more than 130 opioids related death, either through accidents or overdose, every day. These pain medications include codeine and oxytocin and are used by patients to manage severe pain. Despite their benefit in easing pain, opioids have many side effects, and they range from addiction to fatal overdose. The augmented opioid misuse and death rate has prompted the government to revise the physicians' rules to prescribe pain medication.
However, while the revised rules will prevent the patients from becoming addicted or overdosing, the people who solely depend on the drugs will cease to function normally. That is why scientists are looking at medical marijuana as an alternative medicine for chronic pain management. But before delving into marijuana and opioids, let's understand what opioid is and its symptoms.
While some opioids are naturally occurring drugs found in the opium poppy plant, others are made by researchers in the laboratory. However, they have an identical biochemical composition as those found in the plant. Patients use opioids to relieve moderate to severe pain. Many people become hooked to opioids because their brain makes the body to believe that you must use opiates to survive. This leads to people taking more than necessary, and this can cause opioid dependency. So how do you know that you or a loved one is addicted to opioids?
● Isolating yourself from family and friends
● Changing your group of friends and hanging out with the wrong crowd
● Staying dirty
● Losing activities in activities
● Always tired and sad or overly energetic
● Nervous and irritable
● Sleep disorders
● Job loss
● Memory lapses
As you've heard in the introduction, patients are using medical marijuana to treat pain. You may wonder how does medical marijuana help solve the opioid crisis, but first, what is medical marijuana?
Medical cannabis uses weed, which a medical marijuana physician prescribes to treat a certain medical ailment in the list of qualifying conditions. Cannabis has more than 100 cannabinoids, but only CBD and THC are popular among users. Tetrahydrocannabinol is popular because of its psychoactive effects, while cannabidiol is liked because of its therapeutic effects.
Medical marijuana is available in various form, and they include:
● Oral drops
● Dry flower
Vape juice or oil is also suitable for solving the opioid problem. Read on to find the best CBD vape liquid.
You may be at a loss on how to use medical marijuana, but don't worry; the internet is full of information. Some methods you can apply are:
● Applying oral drops under your tongue
● Mix it with your food or drinks
● Take medical marijuana gummies
● Ingest the pills or capsules
Opioid addiction treatment can be done using medical cannabis. How? Cannabinoids (THC and CBD) interact with your body's endocannabinoid system. While THC gives the user psychoactive effects, cannabidiol helps in easing pain, thus, eliminating opioids usage. American Marijuana piloted a survey that showed that the weed could be used to minimize opioids usage among patients.
Another survey reveals that in some states where medical pot is legal, opiates have reduced significantly. For instance, opioid prescription in Ohio has declined from 82.7% to 63.5% since the legalization of medical pot. A survey of another state revealed that opioid-related deaths were fewer by 24.8%. Although there has been a surge in opioid addiction and deaths, medical marijuana is showing significant improvement.
Some people may ask, doesn't marijuana act as a gateway drug? No. If it were a gateway drug, we would see more opioid addiction and death since its legalization; surprisingly, this is not the case.
Ensure that you live in a state where medical weed is legal, and you are approved to take medical pot; otherwise, you might face legal implications.
● Memory impairment
● Impaired judgment
● Movement impairment due to the couch locking effects of THC
● When taken in high doses, you might suffer from paranoia
Alternative ways through which the United States is dealing with the opioid epidemic:
● Educating the public on the adverse effects of opiates by emphasizing that they inform their physician when they notice they cannot function without the drugs. This ensures that intervention is timely. In many states like Virginia, the dangers of opioids education are extended to schools and medical centers.
● Making intervention and recovery centers easily accessible to opioid abusers
● Conducting additional investigation and clinical trials on opioid dependency and pain
● Making drugs that reverse opioid overdose easily accessible to victims
● Providing patients with alternative medicine for managing pain
● Increase monitoring to help the healthcare sector arrange timely intervention and plan policies based on the findings. For instance, Massachusetts enacted a law that requires physicians to prescribe opioids for not more than seven days.
We live in an era where most people at a point in life will experience chronic pain, which may be temporary or permanent. And because of the debilitating side effects of opioids, its high time FDA conducted additional research and approved medical pot use to treat moderate to severe pain, thus, eliminating the opioid crisis.
Have you used medical pot to manage chronic pain? Please share your experience and questions in the comment section.
Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson has been taking prescription pain medication for the past 5 years because of severe pain from injuries and fibromyalgia. However, she hopped on medical marijuana.