As the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids become increasingly recognized and studied, there’s hope for their role in mitigating the current opioid crisis in the United States. Opioids, such as Norco, Percocet, and morphine, are a class of drug often prescribed for pain management. Although opioids have powerful pain-relieving benefits, they are also highly addictive, can lead to adverse side effects like nausea and constipation, and can be lethal when overdosed.
With the current nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, dependence, and fatalities, it’s not enough to simply limit, taper, or discontinue the use of opioids to reduce reliance. People who are struggling with chronic pain need an effective alternative for pain management, and CBD and other cannabinoids can offer pain relief without the dangers posed by opioids.
Research has demonstrated that cannabinoids have far fewer side effects than opioids. They’re not lethal. And, most importantly, cannabis is just as effective as opioids for relieving pain, if not more so. In fact, one study published in 2017 surveyed 2,897 medical cannabis patients. It found that 97 percent of the patients “strongly agreed/agreed” that they were able to decrease the amount of opioids they consumed when they also used cannabis. In addition, 81 percent “strongly agreed/agreed” that taking cannabis by itself was more effective at treating their condition than taking cannabis with opioids. The results were similar for those using cannabis with non-opioid-based pain medications. Overall, the “respondents overwhelmingly reported that cannabis provided relief on par with their other medications, but without the unwanted side effects.”
|Opioids vs. Cannabinoids|
|High-dose opioids promote seizures.||Cannabinoids appear to have anti-convulsant activity.|
|Nausea and vomiting are common during opioid therapy.||Cannabinoids are used as an anti-emetic, especially for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.|
|There is a chance of respiratory depression with opioid overdose.||There is no such risk with cannabinoids.|