Friday, January 16, 2015

5 Benefits for Marijuana over Opiates to Treat Pain

  More than 1.5 billion people suffer from chronic pain and approximately 4% suffer from neuropathic pain worldwide.(Source) Opiates are the most common prescribed medication for pain in the United States. Research has shown that the success rate of opiates for treating pain is 30-40% with horrible side effects.(Source) In 2007 prescription pain killers contributed to 42% of all drug deaths in America.(Source) Research has shown that Cannabis is a favorable alternative to opiate pain medication.

Benefit #1 Cannabis Treats your Emotional Response to Pain

  In 2010 Oxford University conducted a study on how pain is perceived. In the study volunteers were told if electric charges would be dangerous or not before they received them. The perception of danger made the charges more painful. The brain felt pain before the charge was administered.(Source)
Cannabis relaxes the emotional response by affecting the brain receptors that deal with emotion.

Benefit #2 Cannabis Reduces Cancer Growth

  Many studies have shown that marijuana lowers cancer cell growth.(Source) In 2012 the University of Chicago put out a report to showing that opiates may increase cancer growth. Jonathan Moss, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesiology and critical care at the University of Chicago Medicine said "Epidemiologic findings suggest that the type of anesthesia we do for cancer surgery influences recurrence rate, and laboratory studies demonstrate that opioids influence tumor progression and metastasis,". In another study, cancer cells in the lungs show 5-10 times as many opiod receptors than non-cancer cells.(Source)

Benefit #3 Cannabis is Less Addictive than Opiates

  A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that 9% of cannabis users have an addiction problem.(Source) To put this in perspective, 8% of Americans are addicted to Facebook, checking their account 11 or more times a day.(Source) Heroin is an opiate that has a 23% abuse rate.(Source) In 2010 two million people reported using prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons in a one year period (5,500 a day).(Source)

Benefit #4 Cannabis Reduces Side Effects that Opiates Have

  Opiates are Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants. If the CNS is overly-depressed too far this can result in difficulty with the heart beating or the ability to breathe.(Source) Other side effects include hormonal imbalance, constipation, nausea, and drowsiness.(Source) Studies have found that using cannabis along with opiates reduces side effects and decreases addiction.(Source)

Benefit #5 Cannabis Overdose Deaths = 0

  There have been no reported overdose deaths for marijuana. (Source) In 2010 the number of opiate overdose deaths were 16,651. Six percent of people who use prescribed opiates use it as a gateway drug for heroin use. (Source) In 2012 the opioid heroin use resulted in 5,925 deaths as a result of overdose.



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