Prescription drug abuse has taken a lot of lives in the recent past. The number of deaths reported due to overdosing of prescribed opioid drugs exceeds 165,000 in the past two decades. Overdosing on fentanyl and percocet, both painkillers, led to the death of some patients. These painkillers are listed in the prescribed opioids that are used to mitigate the pain of many patients. The total social and health cost of misusing these drugs is nearly 55 billion dollars every year. That is why experts are trying to shift to an alternative method to relieve pain. Some physicians found out that patients were beginning to use medical cannabis rather than prescribed opioids to alleviate pain.
The research outcome concluded that the number of deaths due to over dosage of opioids decreased in all those states where cannabis was permitted. In comparison to those states where it was still illegal.
Medical Cannabis Research
Studies on animals have revealed that cannabis related chemical compounds can work in the same manner as opioids to lessen pain. Researches also show that most of the patients who have started taking medical cannabis have stopped using prescribed opioids within a short time. This study shows the relationship between use of medical cannabis and lessened dependence on opioid drugs.
Studies conducted earlier involved only a few number of people but now, the research going on in Canada includes 1,000 patients. Such an experiment would be more authentic to provide us with the information about the ‘effect and the cause’ relation. It is though difficult to elicit something out of this research as there are restrictions on the use of this drug.
These trials are very important as they would verify its safety. All researchers and experts visualize medical cannabis as a possible treatment method for chronic pain. Though, some of them fear that it cannot be brought into practice without completely understanding the risks and side effects of medicinal cannabis. Whereas, currently, many states have legalized the use of medicinal cannabis in lieu of its usefulness in treating chronic pain.
An important change that has occurred in the recent past is the change of political approach towards the use of cannabis. How many states have legalized medical cannabis? Ohio and many other states including the Colombia District has recently legalized the medical cannabis.
The Studies About Medical Cannabis
It would be much safer to prescribe opioid drugs in the treatment of acute pain cases or in case of surgeries. However still, in painful situations not caused by cancer, the preferred prescription would be medical marijuana. Moreover, when there is a risk of fatal overdose, even the critics would suggest medical cannabis instead of opioid drugs(painkillers).
The studies regarding cannabis medicinal use clearly show that patients using cannabis instead of opioid prescription drugs have less unwanted side effects. Cannabis is no doubt not the perfect solution.
Considering the fact that it is not risk free but a safer alternative to opioid gives the scientists reason to research on cannabis and chronic pain and find out what is medical cannabis, what are its side effects etc.