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Can Cannabis Put an End to the Opioid Epidemic

Cannabis may be used for both recreational and medical purposes. Recreational cannabis is mainly used for recreational purposes, whereas medicinal cannabis is intended to treat medical ailments. Over time, more and more governments have recognized cannabis’ remarkable therapeutic potential. In fact, due to its 500+ chemical components, cannabis is considered the world’s most researched plant.

Pain, inflammation, gastrointestinal problems, stress and depression, degenerative conditions, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, and seizures are among the illnesses for which cannabis has been prescribed. There have even been studies that show marijuana can heal cancer and alleviate AIDS symptoms. However, research on cannabis’ capacity to treat addiction, particularly opiate addiction, has recently surfaced.

A short answer to this question

At this time, no research or study has concluded that cannabis may help people overcome opiate addiction. Even though certain nations and states prescribe cannabis as addiction therapy, researchers have yet to verify the efficacy of these therapies.

Do not be afraid to get treatment if you or a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction. Your doctor is the best person to assist you to obtain the treatment you need, including psychiatric care if necessary.

Why use opioids

Let’s look at why individuals use opiates first before looking at how and why marijuana has been utilized to combat opioid addiction. Doctors administer opioids after surgery to treat post-operative pain, according to an online medical reference. Opioids are also used to treat chronic pain and serious injuries.

The opium poppy plant is the source of opiates. This is a natural pain reliever that has been around for a long time. Opioids are synthetic variants, although the term has come to apply to all types of opiates.

Opioids are narcotic medications that function by inhibiting pain sensations. Opioids in a lesser version are used to treat coughs and halt severe diarrhea.

How to take opioids

Opioids, like cannabis and other substances, can be used in a variety of ways. Opioids are available in tablet, liquid, nasal spray, and skin patch form. Opioids are available in tablet form that dissolves under the tongue. The medicine can also be injected into a vein, muscle, or the gap between two vertebrae. An implanted pump can also take a precise amount of the treatment throughout the day to treat chronic, continuous pain.

Opioids are divided into two types: short-acting and long-acting. Short-acting opioids are used to treat pain and can be taken alone or combined with other pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Pain relief can be received in as little as 15 to 30 minutes, with ease lasting up to 4 hours.

For moderate to severe pain, longer-acting opioids are administered. These medications can give pain relief for up to 12 hours. A regular treatment schedule is provided for this type of opioid medication.

How opioids reduce pain

Opioids work by binding to receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other body parts to block pain. When opiates are linked to a cell, they limit their capacity to convey pain signals to the brain, resulting in pain reduction.

Codeine, Fentanyl, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, and Tapentadol are only a few of the most often used opioids.

Common side effects of opioids

Because opioids help treat pain, they also have adverse effects, which are severe and should never be ignored. Opioids can cause shallow breathing, a slowed heart rate, and low blood pressure. Other adverse effects exist, and the majority of them may be managed by modifying the opioid dosage.

Constipation, nausea, tiredness, memory issues, and vomiting are some of the adverse effects. This medicine also leads to tolerance and dependency. Furthermore, if you have been using opioids for an extended period, you may have withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop using them. Restlessness, sleeplessness, diarrhea, vomiting, goosebumps and chills, muscle and bone movement, and involuntary leg motions are all indicators that you may be suffering from opiate withdrawal.

It’s important to remember that opiates cause tolerance as well as dependency. However, increasing the dosage might result in serious adverse effects. Anxiety, despair, or moodiness are all signs that you’re hooked to opioids. Someone may find it difficult to stop using opioids and spend all of their money on the substance. To get opioids, they may also lie, steal, and hide money. Responsibilities, family, job, and overall attractiveness are all neglected.

Tolerance to opioids and dependency on the substance is not the same as addiction. Addiction is a disorder characterized by obsessive behavior. Without being addicted to opioids, a person might become reliant and acquire tolerance. Experts also discovered that between 8% and 12% of opioid users develop an addiction known as opioid use disorder.

What makes cannabis therapeutic

Cannabis is one of the most natural medicines, having been used for generations. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD, or cannabidiol, are the two most well-known cannabinoid chemicals responsible for cannabis’ medicinal benefits.

THC is the most well-known since it is the component in cannabis that causes intoxicating effects. It also possesses medical characteristics that can aid in treating pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, and a lack of appetite. On the other hand, CBD is the medicinal component of cannabis, although it also has some recreational properties. Pain, stress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and exhaustion can all be alleviated with CBD.

CBD and THC, as well as other chemicals like terpenes, work together to give medicinal relief. THC and CBD also complement each other, allowing you to use cannabis for medicinal purposes without experiencing a euphoric high. As you can see, CBD and THC are both effective pain medications that are natural and do not have the life-threatening side effects associated with opioids. One of the reasons cannabis has been dubbed a viable therapy for opiate addiction and dependency is this. Cannabis, which is both safe and pain-relieving, may take the place of opioids as a pain reliever.

Studies about cannabis as opioid addiction treatment

Cannabis has lately been claimed to have the potential to end the opiate crisis due to its promising pain-relieving properties. State rules enabling medicinal cannabis for opioid addiction in New York and Illinois in the United States are only two examples of this.

Some opponents of the restrictions argue that there is little research to back up these claims about cannabis, particularly when advertising cannabis as an opioid therapy. They also contend that there are insufficient research and data, such as randomized trials, to assess cannabis’ ability to treat opiate addiction.

In a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, it was suggested that replacing marijuana for evidence-based research on opioid addiction might be risky since it would result in the discontinuation of existing therapies. Evidence-based research on methadone and buprenorphine, as well as cannabis as a substitute, are not considered as being compatible with evidence-based medicine.

However, some data suggests that cannabis may be beneficial in treating opiate addiction when lowering damage in a patient’s life. With the likelihood of reduced opiate use, it makes perfect sense to consume cannabis.

Cannabis is less hazardous to both the consumer and the community than drugs such as opioids. While one in ten possibilities is that cannabis usage can lead to addiction, experts argue that replacing opiates with cannabis may be worth it.

There is evidence in cannabis aiding with the treatment of opioid addiction syndrome when it comes to cravings and withdrawal, according to a new review published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. It has been suggested that the way cannabis is created is the cause of its ability.

The body’s natural cannabinoid and opioid systems are in intimate communication with one another. This is a promising finding, given that cannabis-based drugs might be utilized to treat opiate addiction and dependency.

Another factor to consider is that cannabis can aid those addicted to opioids who suffer from chronic pain. Around 8% of individuals with chronic pain develop an opioid addiction, and persons with opioid addiction have more excellent regular pain rates than the general population. Will cannabis play a role in resolving the opioid crisis? Those who have followed the various research and developments in cannabis to treat opioid addiction believe that this will never happen. The opioid addiction problem has several levels and is also regarded as a multi-casual problem requiring a multi-faceted solution.

Evidence-based therapies, which include pharmaceutical and psychosocial techniques, should be used. They also recommend developing a system that individuals may utilize from wherever they are to begin the transformation. These systems must be available in doctors’ offices, community centers, pain centers, outpatient pain treatment facilities, and hospital emergency rooms. Furthermore, randomized trials and evidence-based research are required. Researchers should look into this so that they may utilize cannabis sensibly and successfully to treat opiate addiction.

Present treatments available for opioid addiction and abuse

Medications, counseling and behavioral therapy, MAT or medication-assisted therapies, and residential or physician-based follow-ups are currently viable treatments for opioid addiction. Medication, counseling, and behavioral therapy are all used in MAT treatment. The most effective method for treating opioid addiction is to take a comprehensive approach.

Medications for opioid addiction

The drugs naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine are the most commonly used to treat opiate addiction.

Opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms are suppressed with methadone and buprenorphine. These medications target specific parts of the brain but do not provide euphoria. Some people are concerned that using these medicines would replace their opiate addiction. Because these pills are therapies, this is not the case.

These medications assist in rebalancing the brain regions that have been damaged by opiate addiction. When this occurs, the brain is allowed to mend and recover. Another naloxone-buprenorphine combination has been used to treat opioid addiction.

Some people use these drugs for a few months, while others take them for the rest of their lives. If you wish to discontinue taking these medications, talk to your doctor first. Do not attempt this on your own. A doctor can assist in the creation of a pain management strategy to replace opioid medication therapy.

Naltrexone is another medicine; however, it operates differently than the others. It will not help you control urges or symptoms, but it will help you get rid of the high you get when you use opioids. Naltrexone can help you avoid relapse, but it won’t help you come off opiates. To begin using Naltrexone, you must be entirely free of opiates for at least 7 to 10 days. You may get severe withdrawal symptoms if you do not follow this pre-treatment guideline.

Counseling and behavioral treatments

Counseling can assist you in altering your attitudes and actions around opioid usage. Counseling can also help you develop better healthy living skills. This will also help you with other therapies, such as medicine.

Opioid addiction counseling comes in a variety of formats. Individual therapy is a private meeting between you and a counselor to help you develop treatment objectives, track your progress, and discuss any concerns about opioid addiction treatment. Cognitive-behavioral treatments, motivational therapy, and contingency management therapies may be used in individual counseling.

You will be in group counseling with people who are also doing opioid addiction treatment. You’ll hear them speak about their personal experiences and gain insight into their addiction-recovery tactics. This is an opportunity for everyone to share their personal experiences, but only if comfortable doing so. It is not required. You’ll receive support and love in group sessions from others who understand what you’re going through. This is where friendships and camaraderie are formed. The family should help their loved ones overcome their drug addiction. Family counseling is open to the patient’s spouse, partners, significant others, and close family members. Through this, family relationships will improve as a result of this type of treatment.

Counselors can also assist you in finding different groups, resources, and programs that you require. He can connect you with peer support groups, 12-step programs (such as Narcotics Anonymous), spiritual groups, employment or educational support groups, and organizations that can aid with housing and transportation.

Cannabis strains with impressive pain-relieving properties

  • Girl Scout Cookies

GSC (Girl Scout Cookies) is a medicinal strain with potent analgesic and mood-lifting properties. It has a calming effect that starts at the top of your head and works its way down your legs. You will be pain-free after using this strain. GSC contains powerful calming and pain-relieving properties that will elevate your spirits and improve your mood. Because of its significant natural analgesic properties, GSC can also help to reduce pain. Girl Scout Cookies will help you eat more and avoid nausea and vomiting if you’re going through chemotherapy. With its reasonable growth times, you may expect high harvests from this variety. It’s simple to expand, according to those who have done so, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

  • Canna-Tsu

Canna-Tsu is a CBD-rich strain that can help you deal with pain and anxiety organically. You may work with a soothing and functional high by blocking pain, tension, and worry. Canna-Tsu is a potent hybrid strain made by crossing a Cannatonic with a Sour Tsunami.

Canna-Tsu has an enticingly sweet and earthy aroma and flavor that you may detect even on the first inhale and exhale. This strain has mild effects as well. This will awaken you and sharpen your thoughts. This can relieve chronic pain, headaches, post-operative pain, muscular problems, and other types of discomfort. Canna-Tsu is a strain that is easy to grow. It has a short flowering period and produces average yields. Use the best al food for your plants’ development period and start training them early to get higher harvests.

  • ACDC

ACDC is a potent CBD strain used for the fast and effective relief of pain. ACDC comes with a cannabinoid profile that varies from one phenotype to another. There are some phenotypes with 20 times more CBD than THC. ACDC is for the relief of all kinds of pain, especially chronic pain. This is also good for stress and depression so you can feel relaxed. This will help you block out pain without any psychoactive effects. ACDC is a sativa-dominant hybrid with a 1:20 THC: CBD ratio, making it a strain for different medical conditions. Growing ACDC is easy because it is resistant to common cannabis plant diseases. It yields well and will flower quickly too. ACDC is preferred by people who need a stable supply of an effective analgesic.

  • Northern Lights

Northern Lights is a classic cannabis strain with solid psychoactive effects. The effects may be experienced throughout the body as you get ready to feel total relaxation. You will soon be free from worries and troubles. This strain is used for its effective natural analgesic properties. This comes with a moderate THC at 20.26%; therefore, it can give you good pain relief. You can use this for all kinds of pain, including headaches, muscle pains, migraines, and chronic pain. Northern Lights is also effective for insomnia because it has natural tranquilizing effects, stopping insomnia without dangerous side effects. Northern Lights will stop the pain and help you live pain-free and ready to do all kinds of things as you enjoy your daily life.

  • Granddaddy Purple

Granddaddy Purple is a Purple Urkle x Big Bud indica hybrid. This strain’s most significant distinguishing feature is its delicious grape and berry flavor and fragrance. This can assist you in dealing with pain in a natural way. You can get rid of discomfort without the adverse side effects of pharmaceutical medications.

Granddaddy Purple contains natural solid analgesic properties that can help you cope with various ailments, including headaches, muscular pains, and chronic pain. The best part about utilizing Granddaddy Purple is that you won’t have to worry about unpleasant side effects.

Granddaddy Purple may also be relied upon for relaxation and as a natural mood enhancer. As your body becomes immersed with the overpowering high, your mind will begin to wander. This strain is also suitable for getting a good night’s sleep because it can help with insomnia. This strain can also cause an increase in appetite as a result of a medical condition or treatment. This strain is for chemotherapy patients who are experiencing nausea, vomiting, or a loss of appetite. Granddaddy Purple is a simple strain to produce, so you can grow it even if you’re new to cannabis cultivation. It will provide reasonable yields in the shortest amount of time and work with various training methods.

  • Cannatonic

Cannatonic is another strain for pain because it has high CBD content. This is used for the relief of pain and the treatment of anxiety and stress. This strain can calm you down and will let you live your life pain-free. Cannatonic has a 1:1 CBD/THC ratio, so you’ll experience relief from all kinds of pain without the frightening psychoactive effects of cannabis. This is a high-CBD strain with myrcene, a terpene that can improve Cannatonic’s natural outcomes.

You will feel renewed energy, so you’ll be energetic all day, positive, and focused on your work or your daily tasks. You can also relieve insomnia because of its natural relaxing effects. Cannatonic offers natural relief from muscle strain, muscle pain, inflammation, headaches, and migraines. And as an excellent strain to grow, we recommend Cannatonic. It flowers quickly and will give you moderate yields. You can improve your products with training, nutrition, and lighting.

  • Strawberry Cough

Strawberry Cough is a potent sativa strain with a delicious strawberry flavor, scent, and this strain can give you a boost of energy and positivity. It’s a popular medicinal strain for pain relief because of its potent analgesic properties. It also has excellent mood-enhancing properties that will assist you in overcoming negative thoughts.

There is, however, a drawback to utilizing Strawberry Cough. You’ll be so taken aback by the flavor and impact that you’ll cough as a result. This strain can be used to combat physical or mental exhaustion. Strawberry Cough will offer you more energy and prepare you to face your daily challenges.

This strain might help you feel more confident, especially in social situations. When you take Strawberry Cough, you will have the courage to speak with strangers. Strawberry Cough, however, has specific adverse side effects in addition to its natural and medicinal properties. You may have a dry mouth and eyes, which are two persistent adverse effects of high-THC strains. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Take this strain as gradually as feasible. If you’re a beginner, start with half the regular dose. You may now take a larger quantity if you are comfortable with the current level. Finally, because it is resistant to pests and common illnesses that damage cannabis plants, Strawberry Cough is a straightforward plant to produce. It produces high yields, but it takes ten weeks to blossom and harvest.

  • Jack Herer

Jack Herer is a pain reliever, anxiety reliever, and stress reliever. All types of pain, including headaches, migraines, muscular aches, muscle spasms, and chronic pain, will be relieved. Jack Herer is a tremendous anxiety strain since it may help you relax and forget about your concerns. Jack Herer will help you think clearly and arrange your ideas so you can be stress-free. To properly recuperate from physical and mental weariness, you must use this as a daytime strain.

This is an excellent recreational and medical strain; however, it is not recommended for inexperienced users because of its high potency. If your doctor has recommended this, take only a half-dosage or a mild amount. You can only work your way up to your perfect dose once you’ve adjusted to a modest amount. Comparatively, raising Jack Herer is simple. It has a short blooming time and yields that range from moderate to high. Because it is immune to temperature variations and illnesses that attack cannabis plants, you may grow it inside or outdoors without worry.