by Michael Horton

Medical practitioners have for the past two decades followed the catastrophic tactic to treat patient’s pain by prescribing ‘intense’ painkiller therapies. For any reason, the United States are in the middle of an opioid epidemic. The abuse of opioids and resulting deaths continue to increase at an alarming rate since the late 1990s.

Accidental opioid deaths continue to increase astronomically; addiction centers are bogged down trying to handle the load. After the long term use  of opioid pills the opiate receptors are slowly muted. As a result, the patient needs more medication because a tolerance to prescriptive medications has developed.

Those who support the use of Cannabis for medical purposes but also scientists have made a case for cannabis Cannabinoid therapy would be a one of the important alternatives and a ray of light to the problem of this epidemic, as it is capable to provide a relief for pain with less overdose risks.

A study by some researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2016 reveals that states with medical marijuana laws had 25 percent fewer opioid overdose deaths as compared to states that do not have medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana provides a safer and less addictive alternative to prescription drugs that are overprescribed as it is.

Cannabis effectively relieves pain such as opioid addiction; it also can take the place of opioids as a pain reliever for both acute pain and chronic pain. Cannabis can equally be used as a supplement or replacement for prescription opioid pain medications and to subdue opioid addiction withdrawal symptoms.

While medical cannabis is less likely to prove a replacement for opioids in all medical situations, it may prove to be a better alternative in the long run for many cases of serious Health Conditions.

Across the nation, a projected 1.4 million patients in 28 states and the District of Columbia use legal medical marijuana to treat different conditions. A comparatively fewer number of patients in 16 states use partial extracts of the plant basically to treat seizure disorders.

In the midst of an opioid crisis, many people are of the opinion that an increased use of medical Cannabis for healing conditions of pain could result in lesser people using the highly addictive prescription painkillers that led to the epidemic in the first place. In 2015, a study in Drug and Alcohol Review showed that 80% of medical marijuana users reported replacing pot for painkillers, 52% admitted to drinking less when taking medical marijuana.

There are more than one ways that Medical Cannabis can be used. It can play a preventive role against opioid addiction, for all those who suffer from pain and risk their health using heavily opioids.

Moreover Cannabis can treat this addiction. A study from Columbia University in 2015 revealed that opioid addicts who were given dronabinol (a medicine that contains the psychoactive cannabinoid compound called THC) stated significantly milder withdrawal symptoms as compared to those that went cold turkey.

A comparable study published in a 2013 issue of the American Journal of Addiction also found reduced withdrawal symptoms, including the anxiety and insomnia that comes from the body detoxing from chronic opioid abuse. Marijuana, it appears, can treat patients before and after they spring into addiction.

It appears that medical marijuana is the drug of future generations as we every day find out different scientific reports that backs a lot of things it does.


Author Michael Horton studied Biology and is a journalist based in Berlin. He has a strong interest in Social Science and the Medical Cannabis Industry.