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Researchers are more and more optimistic about the medical uses of cannabis, especially the compound CBD. CBD is a compound derived from the hemp plant, but is different from medical marijuana. While medical marijuana contains the psychoactive compound THC, CBD does not. Research into CBD oil benefits for pain and addiction is showing signs of major progress in the medical community.
Early testing suggests CBD reduces inflammation in the body, which is a major cause for pain currently experienced by millions of people. CBD also reduces some symptoms affiliated with addiction. With more research than ever into this breakthrough medical compound, will CBD oil benefits for pain and addiction reduce the U.S.’s addiction to opioid medication?
There is a major opioid epidemic in the U.S. causing thousands of overdose deaths each year. Opioids are a class of drugs extracted from opium poppies and include heroin and methadone. The compounds made from this plant also include pharmaceutical drugs such as morphine and codeine. While these pharmaceutical drugs help with pain relief, they are highly addictive. Overprescribing these medicines are also partially to blame for this modern wave of widespread opioid addiction.
Continued opioid use results in lasting changes in a person’s body and brain. Using them on a regular basis causes the body to develop a tolerance for their effects. This means that long-time users will need ever-increasing doses in order to get their desired results. Because of this, healthier alternatives to pain medication are instrumental in reducing the U.S.’s dependence on opioids.
Some people never overcome their opioid addiction, and many die from it. Close to half of opioid-related overdose deaths in America are caused by prescription opioids and the rest are from heroin and fentanyl. More than 80% of those who overdosed from heroin and fentanyl started using them because the prescription opioids were too expensive or they craved something stronger.
Because of this opioid crisis, we have been frantically searching for alternative pain medication. In the past few years, we’ve begun to understand the compound CBD. Through studies and research, we are noticing that CBD oil benefits for pain and addiction may be the answer we’ve been looking for. CBD may help us transition away from opioid pain medication.
For decades, scientists knew that cannabinoids are effective at reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms in animals. Scientists also see similar results in humans, and thousands of people are now turning to cannabinoids as a way to get off of their opioid addiction. They believe that CBD is more effective than the standard methods of combating addiction.
Opioid addicts struggle with an inability to sleep. Cannabinoids such as CBD, when taken in a high dosage, produce a sedative effect which can help patients relax and sleep. This is especially important for people who are going through the final stages of withdrawal.
People also relapse due to negative moods and anxiety. Advocates praise CBD for its anti-anxiety effects and studies conducted in New York have shown that even a small dose of CBD can help patients curb the anxiety that leads to relapse. States that have legalized medical marijuana see the effect of CBD in dealing with opioid addiction.
Doctors in Maine came across the benefits of CBD oil for pain almost by accident. They found that most opioid prescribed patients came back for a higher dosage and more pills, but some patients did not. A small investigation into those patients showed that they were using cannabis in conjunction with the opioids.
The State of Maine legalized medical marijuana in 1999. Maine has a history for constantly being among the top ten states for opioid addictions. In some years such as 2016, Maine’s rate for opioid addiction was twice that of the national average and that number keeps climbing. Maine looks to be on the front lines of combatting the opioid crisis now that we know more about CBD oil benefits for pain.
Clinical research supports the use of CBD oil in dealing with opioid addiction due to the benefits of CBD oil for pain. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive which makes it nearly impossible to become physically addicted while enjoying its anti-anxiety effects. Many argue that this makes CBD the best replacement for the pharmaceutically-approved addiction medications, but the medical establishment does not want to consider it as a reliable alternative until more research is conducted.
Policy issues are holding back the prescription of CBD in cases of addiction. The FDA still classifies CBD as a schedule I drug. Epidiolex, the recently approved epilepsy medication containing CBD, is the only exception. This is a clear case of legislation hindering scientific progress.
Fast-tracking clinical trials for CBD could get around this problem. CBD is an isolated form of the compound in cannabis that is non-addictive. It is also effective at dealing with withdrawal symptoms. The benefits of CBD oil for pain is also a major reason why this newly researched compound can combat the opioid epidemic. Concentrating on CBD alone allows the medical establishment to provide patients with a compound that is free from the psychoactive effects of cannabis which give medical marijuana a negative reputation.
Most of the evidence supporting the use of CBD and CBD oil in dealing with opioid addiction is anecdotal. Currently, there are very few studies on the effects of isolated CBD. Also, most of the studies available were conducted on animals. Only a handful of human studies were conducted, and less than half of them were double-blind studies. The small number of studies available makes it difficult to come to a concrete conclusion. However, more benefits of CBD oil for pain, sleep, addiction, and anxiety are emerging as more and more studies are conducted.
Doctors agree that CBD affects many of the neurotransmission systems. These systems affect addiction and pain, and CBD studies have shown promise in these areas in animals. The studies on humans and animals alike showed that there were no adverse effects to using CBD, and that the benefits of CBD oil on pain, sleep, anxiety, and addiction are emerging as a major alternative to opioid medication. More studies must be conducted before the medical establishment will recognize CBD as a reliable alternative.
Because of CBD oil benefits for pain and addiction, the future for CBD looks bright. Researchers are currently conducting many research programs in this field of medicine. This will, however, take some time. The burden of substance abuse is felt worldwide, and there is an immediate need to develop alternative forms of treatment to combat this epidemic.
With luck and perseverance, CBD oil benefits for pain and addiction will help to reduce our dependence on opioids and crush this epidemic before it claims more lives.
FDA Disclaimer: The statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products is not confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.