Did you know cannabis can treat chronic pain without dependency?
Did you know chronic pain affects about 30 percent of the U.S. population? For older adults, that number rises to 40 percent. Chronic pain is treated by the prescription of opioids. In fact, opioid painkillers are now the most commonly prescribed class of medications in the United States. Due to the improper use of opioids, a national epidemic of overdose deaths and addiction is upon us. More than one-third of drug-overdose deaths in 2013 were from pharmaceutical opioids, almost twice as many as heroin. For safer long-term pain relief, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University found cannabis can treat chronic pain without addiction. However, marijuana remains federally illegal. Only those in states with legalized marijuana have access to it, and that may soon change.
Details On How Cannabis Can Treat Chronic Pain Study
Researchers in Oregon studied a rodent model to study the function of endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids naturally occur in the body and bind with cannabinoids for a “high” or medicinal benefits.
Researchers observed the function of CB1 and CB2 at the membrane level in neurons. When CB2 receptors are bound by cannabinoids, persistent inflammatory pain is relieved. Rats that had induced inflammation had decreased CB1 receptor activity and increased CB2 activity. The researchers believe medicine that selectively binds to the CB2 receptor may be useful for the treatment of chronic pain.
The study also found cannabis could treat chronic pain with fewer consequences.
“It may be an avenue where we can get better pain medications that are not addictive,” said Susan Ingram, senior author of the study. “However, emerging data indicate that drugs that target the endocannabinoid system might produce analgesia with fewer side effects compared to opioids.”
So, you can get your pain relief without the risk of addiction or even death if you use cannabis in place of prescription opioids.
Many medical marijuana states have chronic pain on their list of qualifying conditions. In fact, New York recently added chronic pain to its list. There have been other studies that found cannabis could treat chronic pain. Now, this study backs those findings and highlights how marijuana has fewer side effects than prescription opioids.
With an overdose rate of zero every year, cannabis should replace opioid medication wherever possible. Cannabis is less expensive than many opioid medications prescribed for chronic pain and it can’t kill you. States with legal marijuana are seeing less opioid overdoses and addiction. The evidence of pots potential to end the opioid epidemic is piling on, but the DEA chooses to ignore any facts in favor of legalization.