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Given the Choice, Patients Will Reach for Cannabis Over Prescribed Opioids

With opioid dependence and overdoses having become a worldwide epidemic, it turns out that those who are using opioids would much rather rely on medical marijuana than the prescription drug, according to the University of British Columbia. The university conducted a study of patients needing something for chronic pain, mental health and gastrointestinal issues, and found that 63 percent reported using cannabis instead of their prescription drugs.

If nothing else, this should be a wakeup call to health providers everywhere, especially in the U.S. where cannabidiol (CBD) has been reclassified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance despite having no psychoactive component, meaning it cannot render you “high” and therefore has little potential for abuse, forcing citizens to fight for the right to use this safe alternative to pain relief.

The truth is there is no fatal toxicity associated with cannabis.

The primary role of the endocannabinoid system is to bring homeostasis to tissues and biological systems. Thus, the endocannabinoid system plays a key regulatory role in the human body. Sadly, cannabis is a vastly underutilized therapeutic option that has been wrongly vilified.

Happily, a study comparing marijuana with opioids for chronic pain relief is currently underway, and I am confident the study will confirm that medical cannabis is a viable choice in lieu of opioids. If history is any indicator, not only do 76 percent of physicians support the use of medical marijuana, it’s already been found that opioid overdose deaths have decreased in states that have, on their own, legalized medical marijuana.
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