We’ve published many articles on how cannabis can replace far more addictive and dangerous opioids for many patients, but another aspect of the story which has received less attention to date is the idea that for those patients where cannabis can’t REPLACE opioids – which is a real segment of pain patients – it can still reduce opioid use to the point that dangerous dependence and the risk of death is significantly less likely.
This has to do with the physiology of pain and its relief (and there’s a good discussion of that here), as cannabinoids and opioids act on different sets of receptors in the body, and so relieve pain via different mechanisms. And the result, as the article cites studies to show, is very often that “Cannabis and opioids together offer greater pain relief at lower doses.”
We recommend this informative article for details and medical analysis, and will also note that far too little use is being made of this information. First, in the 21 non-medically legal states, patients can’t try this without breaking both state and federal law.
Second, even in the med legal states, traditional pain doctors – long trained by society and their government to view cannabis as a medically useless and dangerous Schedule 1 narcotic – don’t always see cannabis as an alternate or adjunct treatment and many aren’t even willing to consider the possibility.
This means in many cases that patients are often left to figure out their own treatment in complex cases without counsel and appropriate medical monitoring.
Given the grim statistics coming out of the opioid crisis week after week, we find the lack of extending the availability of cannabis medicines to all patients who can benefit to be unconscionable both on the federal level, e.g., in the feckless approach of the Christie Commission on the crisis, and as applicable in various states around the country.
And we call for physicians (in legal and still-not-legal states like Utah) to fully educate themselves on the situation, so that they can act and advocate accordingly in the best interests of their patients.
PS: This approach has been studied for a good number of years now. See, e.g., also: http://ift.tt/2CHeAou
#MMJ #Opioids #MultiDrugTreatment #UTpol #UtahNext #TRUCE
See full article – The Biology of Cannabis vs. Opioids for Pain Relief | Leafly