Medical Marijuana is the best alternative to Opioids

Medical marijuana is now recognized in 28 states in America. There have been continued reforms where some of the compounds in the marijuana plant have been used to treat certain conditions like uncontrolled epilepsy. Additionally, most of the American public and that includes several leading health organizations such as the California Medical Association and the American Nurses Association support the access of marijuana to patients. With this reality, you would wonder why the federal government is still classifying weed as a schedule 1 drug. What has been the main motivation of anti-marijuana lobbyists? In the years recently passed, the stakeholders in Big Pharma and those linked with them have been on the fore front to oppose the reforms on marijuana laws. It is very easy to note why. It is for-profit reasons. Some don’t have genuine health and research concerns. They only want to control the health industry and continued being the only sole source for such kind of medication.

Presently, marijuana is being recommended through certified medical professionals throughout the nation to effectively and safely mitigate a variety of symptoms and that include anxiety, depression and chronic pain. This increasing trend vividly cuts into the models of business for companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Purdue Pharma among others. All these companies profit from the sale of products based on opioid and other traditional prescription drugs. A research study that was reported in the Health Affairs journal in 2016 gave enlightening data on the manner in which medical weed legalization affects the bottom lines of these companies. The researchers said that in 2013, doctors working in medical marijuana friendly states gave 265 fewer antidepressant prescriptions, 486 fewer seizure medication doses, 541 fewer doses of anti-nausea, 562 fewer anti-anxiety medication doses and generally, 1,826 fewer painkiller doses.

At a time when the opioid problem of the nation is being highlighted, this published data must be something worth of celebration, especially among those who are concerned with lessening drug abuse and the rate of mortality caused by prescription drugs. Still, people are silent about this major achievement realized with the use of marijuana for medical reasons. The Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) has not come out to raise concerns about opiods use and abuse.  There was yet another study that was published in November 2016 in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal by researchers from the Harvard Medical School that reinforced the threat that medical marijuana poses to the big pharmaceutical companies in the current world of medicine. The investigators said that patients licensed to take medical marijuana over a period of 3 months responded positively in clinical state and that included reduced sleep disturbance, attenuated impulsivity, decreased depression symptoms and positive changes in certain aspects of life quality. Additionally, patients also reported that there was a significant decrease in their utilization of traditional pharmaceutical agents from baseline where the use of opiate declined by more than 42%.

Other separate research data that was published in 2016 in The Journal of Pain show same results with 244 patients. The conclusion made was that, medical marijuana use among the study participants was linked with a 64% decrease in the use of opioid-based products, decreased side effects of the medications and an improved life quality.  Physicians clearly comprehended the value of using weed to treat different health conditions and so do the many players take part in Big Pharma. This is why the latter are putting a lot of financial resources to prevent further developments on marijuana reforms. Based on these studies, it is no doubt that medical marijuana is the best alternative to traditional opioid medicine.

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