Dozens, believe it or not, of people die every single day due to an opioid overdose. Some even believe dozens will turn into hundreds at the rate we’re going due to the addiction epidemic expanding across America. There have been solutions around to the opioid problem in the U.S., but these are often seen as outdated and non-effective. With so many of these solution and recovery options involving an alternative, but also addictive, substance or medicine, it’s becoming much harder to kick the habit. Maybe we’re looking in all of the wrong places, I mean why are we prescribing addictive substances to those already addicted to another substance?
Perhaps the solution is right in front of our very eyes. It could be something we’ve overlooked or even disapproved: marijuana. Whether you’d like to disagree or not, marijuana has been around as a form of medicine for thousands of years, much longer than prescription or over-the-counter medicine. Those who utilize the medicinal properties of medical marijuana stand by it, and there’s a reason why.
Are We Forgetting About CBD?
This who are against using medical marijuana to treat opioid addiction, or even cancer, must have lost the memo regarding CBD, or Cannabidiol, and its many, many benefits on the human body. Just as we are able to create prescription medicine that has a specific set of effects on the body, we are able to do so with marijuana. This entails breeding, genetics and cannabis strains utilized to enhance its effects on the body. Oh, and when it comes to CBD, you don’t necessarily have to smoke it.
Certain cannabis strains containing CBD have been proven to nullify the withdrawal effects of opioid addiction. Some withdrawal symptoms of a person addicted to opiates include:
- anger and agitation
- body aches and abdominal pain/cramping
- bodily chills
- drug cravings
- diarrhea and/or constipation
- nausea and loss of appetite
Believe it or not, but there is a CBD strain in medical marijuana for each and every one of these symptoms. It can be consumed orally through the use of tinctures, oil, vaporizer, oral spray, and even topically on affected areas. If there is physical pain caused by opiate withdrawal, topical CBD mixtures could be applied to alleviate the area. Ingesting CBD encourages a resistance to the use of the drug you’re addicted to due to the relieve of withdrawal symptoms. Interacting with the body’s natural systems, CBD commonly alleviates physical pain and discomfort as well as increase the mental state of mind.
The Endocannabinoid System
If you haven’t heard of this yet, you must have been like the rest of us during biology. The endocannabinoid system comes into play when our body has pain or is inflamed in specific areas as it decreases the pain we feel while alleviating the area. It also increases immunity in ways similar to the effects of CBD. Both CBD and THC in medical marijuana have specific cannabis strains that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to relieve physical pain, which, for some, is the hardest part about withdrawal.
Cannabis can, in a sense, rewire the way your endocannabinoid system interacts with the brain. It can send signals to discourage the use of addictive drugs while preventing the affects of withdrawal and nullifying any cravings. Prescription medicine, such as methadone, does not interact with the brain in this way and, instead, causes chemical reactions that temporarily ease the mind and body. Cannabis does not encourage withdrawal to CBD or THC once you decide to stop its use unlike methadone which, when usage is stopped, will cause the brain to seek a replacement in heroin or other opiates.
Is Cannabis The Solution for Overcoming Opiate Addiction?
While not all recovery and treatment centers carry this form of treatment in their facilities, cannabis is surely a viable option to overcome opaiate addiction and alleviate withdrawal symptoms during recovery. Depending on where you live within the U.S., there may be options for you to try cannabis as a form of recovery against opioid or heroin addiction. Consider traveling to a state where marijuana is legalized, or get a prescription for medical marijuana from your doctor/recovery specialist to aid in your recovery.