Cannabis Reducing Opioid Usage in Dealing With Chronic Pain
Standard prescription painkillers substituted for medical cannabis in patients suffering from chronic pain? According to the latest research on this topic, this might be the next best thing in replacing opioids such as heroin.
Canadian researchers at the University of British Columbia, McGill University, and those at the University of California in Los Angeles decided to examine whether cannabis may, in fact, be the proper substitution for illicit substances used to treat chronic pain. The reason being, they wanted to dive deeper into the issue as the current population is at severe risk of overdose from various opioids.
The ground-breaking study included 1,152 participants who claimed that they felt severe or recurring pain between 2014–2017. Over the course of the study, 410 participants used cannabis every day, whereas 455 of them reported using illegal pharmaceuticals such as heroin daily. At the first interview, when the participants reported feeling chronic pain, 269 of them were using non-medical opioids daily, whereas 583 of them used cannabis every day or on occasions.
The study came to the conclusion that individuals who consumed cannabis daily had around 50% lower chances of using illegal opioids daily compared with individuals who did not use cannabis.
Furthermore, it has also been reported that a large number of participants claimed that they used cannabis frequently to deal with pain, sleep issues, stress, and loss of appetite or nausea. The study has shown that access to cannabis may certainly help reduce the need for addictive opioids.
However, Stephanie Lake, the lead author, posted a tweet recently, claiming that the study still needs to look into the practicability and the effectiveness of cannabis for chronic pain
.Lake went on, claiming that cannabis may not be the perfect option for patients seeking pain management and that opioids are not bad. Nevertheless, cannabis-based strategies should be used as one of the many tools to reduce any potential harm to the human body.