CBD Versus Opioids
In the United States, 11.2 percent of American adults or 25.3 million people have experienced some degree of pain every day for the past three months, according to a National Health Interview Survey. However, even more adults suffer from severe levels of pain (17.6 percent). This has led to an increased usage of prescription medications and opioids, in particular. The number of prescriptions for opioids has escalated from nearly 76 million in 1991 to 207 million in 2013. Misuse, abuse, addiction, overdoses, and deaths can occur from opioid usage. Thus, more people are switching towards the usage of the natural cannabinoid—CBD for pain.
Why People Use Opioids and Overall Painkillers
There are several reasons as to why people use opioids and painkillers. The main reason consists of painful medical conditions, diseases, and illnesses. Cancer patients, Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, trauma victims, and individuals with other serious medical issues experience some degree of daily pain. Sometimes, the level of pain is unbearable and unmanageable. This can lead to individuals using opioids as their primary treatment method. However, opioids come with their own specific list of negative side effects and dangerous risks.
In general, opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and others. Doctors prescribe certain opioids to patients with chronic pain. However, heroin and other opioids are sold on the streets. According to DrugAbuse.gov, these drugs interact with opioid receptors on the body’s nerve cells and within the brain. Regular usage of these drugs can result in dependency and addiction in addition to possible overdoses and even death, as stated by the same source. Even though opioid usage can lead to negative and/or dangerous situations, doctors continue to write prescriptions for them to this day.
Opioid Prescriptions & The Opioid Epidemic
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies not only convinced, but reassured the medical community that people would not become addicted to opioid pain medications. As a result, healthcare providers began prescribing opioids at greater rates. From 1999-2010, the amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled. As the years went on, more people became addicted to opioids, which led to overdoses totaling into the thousands.
Specifically, overdose deaths involving opioids were five times higher in 2016 than in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. From 1999-2016, more than 200,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids, as stated by the same source. Even though the dangers of opioids are common-knowledge, opioid-involved deaths keep increasing in the U.S. So far, the U.S. is the biggest opioid consumer globally. Out of all countries, the U.S. accounts for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone (Vicodin) and 81 percent for oxycodone (Percocet), according to DrugAbuse.gov. The nationwide consumption of prescription opioids continues to worsen and take people’s lives. It has been found that on average, every day, 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose.
Opioid Epidemic Solutions
Due to the evident risks and dangers of prescription opioids, a public health emergency was declared to combat the opioid crisis. Overall, different advocacy groups have expressed that there is room for improvement regarding doctors prescribing opioids. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention stated that doctors should improve on prescribing opioids and not offer them immediately. They also stated that there should be a reduction in the access of illegal opioids. As a result of this epidemic and the dangers of opioids, lots of people have switched to using CBD instead. In general, the effects of CBD versus opioids are dissimilar, and the usage of opioids and CBD contain different medicinal properties. For people who want a natural and safe pain-reliever, CBD is the one to go with.
CBD—Natural and Safe Alternative to Opioids
Due to CBD’s numerous medicinal properties and lack of negative side effects, CBD consumption has increased in recent years. Additionally, the ease of overdosing from opioids and dependency issues that can develop has swayed many people away from this drug. Also, due to opioids’ addictiveness and painful withdrawal symptoms, people have moved towards using CBD as their primary treatment method. Recently, there has been a rapid increase in CBD consumption and acceptance of this cannabinoid for medical purposes.
Furthermore, CBD is non-psychoactive, non-intoxicating, and it does not make users high. It has been found by DrugAbuse.gov that CBD has very little effect on the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is one explanation for why CBD does not deliver a psycho-active high to users. So far, it has been found that CBD appears to be a safe drug with no additive effects. Also, the preliminary data that has been collected over the years indicates that CBD contains potential therapeutic value for various painful medical conditions.
Benefits of CBD Versus Opioids
On the same note, different studies have been conducted on CBD and its safety, efficacy, and abuse potential. In one animal study, it was found that CBD is unlikely to have abuse potential. Similarly, evidence that was collected from available clinical studies did not support an abuse potential for CBD. It was concluded from a related secondary data analysis that CBD did not produce any signs of abuse liability nor did CBD produce any significant psycho-activity. Thus far, there have not been any case reports of abuse or dependence regarding pure CBD usage.
Out of all countries that allow legal CBD usage, there are no known reports regarding the misuse of CBD. Also, through different research findings, it has been proven that CBD does not produce euphoria, nor does it produce psycho-active effects. However, CBD contains pain-relieving properties and many other medical benefits. Recently, emerging findings have suggested promising therapeutic usefulness of CBD. Overall, the main benefits of CBD versus opioids are vastly different, especially because the latter drug can result in death.
CBD for Pain Management
As briefly mentioned above, CBD contains natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. From dozens of trials and studies, it was found that this cannabinoid can deliver effectiveness in managing chronic pain. It has also been discovered through one study that CBD can help people manage arthritis pain. Another study found that the short-term usage of CBD oil could reduce levels of spasticity that Multiple Sclerosis patients feel. Besides CBD delivering pain and inflammatory relief, this cannabinoid delivers no negative side effects as compared to opioids.
Moreover, when too much THC is consumed, it has been found that the inclusion of CBD diminishes THC’s psychoactive effects. It has also been discovered that CBD could lower potential drug abuse liability, according to National Institute of Health findings. In general, CBD can counteract the intense effects felt from THC consumption, which demonstrates the medicinal value of this cannabinoid.
CBD Could Become Humanity’s #1 Pain-Reliever
The benefits of CBD versus opioids are significant. When people experience daily or consistent pain, one of their main goals is to feel relief. Safe and effective relief could result from using pure CBD versus opioids since research demonstates CBD to be non-addictive, safe, and multi-beneficial. Also, not only is CBD non-psychoactive, but it’s medicinally beneficial, according to findings from different reports and clinical trials.
In recent years, there has been an increase in CBD consumers, the number of legal cannabis and CBD companies, and CBD consumption all over the world. If you are looking for a beneficial yet safe, non-addictive, and non-psychoactive alternative, CBD could be the one for you. Next time you feel pain and discomfort, consider consuming CBD, especially our effective Infinite CBD products!