Did you know that in 2016, more than 64 000 people died from opioid overdose in the United States alone? Opioids such as generic painkillers, fentanyl, and even heroin have already been linked to several deaths. To give you a better idea of how truly dead opioids are, more Americans died from opioid overdose than in the whole Vietnam War.


Opioids shouldn't be considered as just a crisis but rather a national emergency that should be dealt with as soon as possible – opioids should be treated as an epidemic.


It is indeed true that doctors had a hand in this ongoing pandemic regarding opioid over-prescription, but the main issue why there are so many overdoses is because of chronic pain. A study from the National Institutes of Health states that more than 11 percent of Americans or about 25-26 million are suffering from some kind of chronic pain every day in the last 3 months before the study.

The Studies

Doctors have already voiced their concerns in regards to the harm that opioids painkillers might bring. However, it isn't until recently that science managed to prove it, which means that the concerns of doctors in the past were true.


The American Medical Association published a study in regards to how effective opioids (such as oxycodone, Vicodin, and fentanyl) really are compared to non-opioid (such as nerve blockers, ibuprofen and Tylenol in treating all sorts of chronic pain. The study states that opioid painkillers aren't really superior to non-opioid ones.


The news in regards to the opioid study is a big blow to major pharmaceutical companies that have made millions in the production of prescription painkillers. This is also a piece of horrible news to people who are majorly dependent on these prescription drugs for their chronic pain. So, the question now remains: if these opioid painkillers can't help in remedying chronic pain, what can?


Well, doctors have looked into a safer and more natural alternative: cannabis. Yes, marijuana was used way back centuries ago for treating all sorts of illnesses, including chronic pain. The problem, however, marijuana has been made illegal, including the medical use of it since 1937. It wasn't until the last several years that it was made legal in some parts of the United States. Cannabis dispensaries have been popping up all across the USA. In Arizona, recreational marijuana was recently legalized in 2020, and it has become one of the top generating cannabis tax revenue generating states. Visiting a Scottsdale dispensary in Arizona is a pleasant experience, the dispensaries are well kept, professional and have new customer deals.


Actually, in terms of using medical marijuana in treating chronic pain, there is a study that was done recently where 2970 cancer patients were to use marijuana for treating their chronic pain. Each of the patients was given a choice in which plan would be suited to their current lifestyle.


The study has shown quite a positive result. The majority of the patients have seen a significant improvement in their conditions. Most of the patients have noticed a significant reduction in chronic pain as well.


Aside from treating the chronic pain that the cancer patients were suffering, marijuana also helped address other cancer symptoms. More than 90 percent of the patients reported that symptoms such as vomiting and nausea were radically improved. Around 87.5 percent of the patients have dramatically improved their sleeping disorders. Lastly, about 84 percent have stated that their depression and anxiety levels were greatly reduced during the study.


Marijuana is considered to be a miracle treatment for cancer patients since it can tackle most of the symptoms that these patients are suffering from. Instead of taking multiple drugs for treating the various symptoms, a patient may have to use only marijuana in treating their symptoms. In fact, right now, many cancer patients are requesting to use medical marijuana during their treatment.

How Does Marijuana Treat Chronic Pain?

According to most studies, the compound tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that is commonly found in marijuana may have something to do with the treatment. The THC compound is known to react with our body's natural cannabinoid receptors, which helps increase our pain tolerance and decrease pain signals.


Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana, other chronic pain that stems from inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may also be treated with the use of medical marijuana.

How is Medical Marijuana Used for Treating Chronic Pain?

There are actually a number of ways for people to use marijuana medically. An individual may choose to smoke or vape the leaves or oil, consume edibles that are infused with THC, or perhaps apply it as a topical for the skin. It may be the individual's personal choice to how they may use medical marijuana. Still, one should consider that certain applications may be more effective than the other depending on the chronic pain. If you’re curious where to find a nearby dispensary be sure to check out our main page!

Why are Opioids Considered Dangerous?

A lower dose of opioids may not be that dangerous, but it will make one tired and drowsy. At higher doses, opioids may slow down both the patient's heart rate and as well as their breathing which could certainly cause death. Opioids have been known to give you a feeling of euphoria. Hence, it is so dangerous because of its addictive properties.


Marijuana vs. Opioids: Which One is Better for Chronic Pain?

Well, for one, medical marijuana is so much safer than opioid painkillers. Although both of them can be considered addictive, opioids are much more serious. Not only that, opioids can seriously affect your breathing and heart rate, which could be very dangerous. Another thing about marijuana is that it is much more effective in treating chronic pain than prescription painkillers.


The only problem with medical marijuana is that since it is still growing in terms of popularity, the product's availability is not that accommodating to everyone.

Final Thoughts

Many medical professionals still believe that the usage of marijuana for medical use and its possible side effects still requires more studies and research. However, based on the current information about it now, it is safe to say that it can be used as an alternative method of treating chronic pain and cancer symptoms. It has pain relieving properties that are much better than opioids and it is less addictive.


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