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For years, doctors around the world have been recommending opioids for pain relief. However, the recent outburst of CBD in the healthcare market has given opioids users an alternative for treating chronic pain.
Now, since the average cost of CBD is much higher than that of opioids, so the question here arises – why would someone pay a premium price for CBD for treating chronic pain when they can do the same with less expensive opioids?
Let’s try to answer this question.
It is clear that opioids have proven benefits for pain relief, but it comes with its own set of drawbacks. Opioids are not safe for health – using them is exchanging one problem to get another.
- Addiction: There is a greater risk of addiction when using Opioids, in fact, in the US up to 29% of patients prescribed opioids misuse them. Ninety days is often used as a parameter for defining chronic pain. Studies show that after ninety days of continuous use, opioid treatment is more likely to become a lifelong need.
- Overdose: When someone needs a higher dose of painkillers to get minimal relief, they are at risk of an opioid overdose. In fact, in 2017, over 70,000 deaths occurred due to drug overdose in the US. According to a study, patience’s taking a daily dose of 100mg or greater of opioids are at a very high risk of overdose.
- Tolerance: One reason for overdose is tolerance. According to a study, patience tends to develop tolerance to opioids which results in them taking more and more dose to get minimal relief.
- Side Effects: Pain may not be treated adequately with opioids due to its side effects. For instance, if a person needs 10mg of painkiller but they cannot take more than 5mg due to their side effects, they will not be able to take enough opioid medication to alleviate all their pain. Some of the common side effects of opioids are –
- Physical dependence
- Respiratory depression
Due to the health crisis caused by these meds, doctors are looking for alternate ways for the treatment for chronic pain.
CBD has emerged as a solution to this problem. CBD can help treat chronic pain without the above-mentioned drawbacks of opioids. In fact, studies show people do not develop tolerance to CBD. Once you’ve found the dose which gives you the desired effect, you can stick with it, without having to worry about becoming tolerant of it.
CBD does not have overdose risks associated with opioids. According to a study, the states in the US with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.
In a study, it was observed that no signs of toxicity or side effects were found following chronic administration of CBD to volunteers, even in large acute doses of 700mg/day. Although, when using CBD, it is best to start with the lowest recommended dose for your body weight, and gradually increase from there until you feel the desired effects.
Also, studies have shown that for treating the same chronic pain a person would require a lower dose of CBD as compared to opioids. This is because the CB1 receptors (an important part of our endocannabinoid system to which the CBD binds) are 10 times more abundant in the brain than mu opioids receptors (receptors that are activated by morphine).
Moreover, another thing that makes CBD superior is its versatility. It is beneficial in treating not only chronic pain but also various other health-related issues like anxiety, inflammation, PTSD, depression, low appetite, and epilepsy and seizures the list is endless. In fact, CBD is now widely used to treat skin-related issues like acne and psoriasis.
As a result, you should consider replacing opioids with CBD for treating chronic pain as well as to utilise the other health benefits of CBD
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