The use of medical cannabis is increasing steadily in the United States, owing to the laws regarding the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Nearly 28 states, along with the District of Columbia, have enforced regulations that legalize medical cannabis use. Furthermore, eight states have also amended its legislative policies to authorize the use of the substance for recreation.
As a result of these changes, a large population of the country is beginning to realize the medicinal value of cannabis and its uses in relieving pain and other mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Also, prescription drugs are now starting to see a decline, particularly in states which have enforced new rules.
Side Effects of Prescription Drugs
Although the US Food and Drug Administration considers prescription drugs to be safe for medical purposes, they still don’t come without side effects. But not everyone who takes these drugs may experience all the side effects. So, doctors and other medical professionals should try to compare the benefits before administering such medications. And, this means weighing the rewards that these medications offer for the general population.
One of the other reasons for using medical cannabis as a substitute for description drugs is that it is readily available. You can find legal cannabis from a reputed cannabis dispensary.
But as stated earlier, prescription drugs have minimal side effects. Even still, those who received surgical treatment or medical implants must be wary of the potential side effects of prescription drugs. So, when any medication has possible side effects, the FDA puts a warning sign on the labels that explain the consequences. In some cases, such drugs could also be taken out from the markets if they cause health problems that the FDA considers dangerous enough under the federal regulations.
The conditions that these drugs cause is severe and can range from permanent impairment or damage, disability, or any other life-threatening condition, and may sometimes even lead to death. So, you should take the right dosage as prescribed by a doctor or other medical professional.
Legal Cannabis Works as a Substitute for Prescribed Painkillers
The University of New Mexico has conducted a new study in which it has stated that legal cannabis could soon replace prescription painkillers. Addiction to prescription drugs has been a widespread problem across the United States for quite some time now. These drugs kill thousands of people every year, causing unnecessary problems for the country’s healthcare system.
The study, led by a professor of psychology, Jacob Vigil, and associate professor in economics, Sarah Stith, has also shown that opioids are one of the major causes of this mortality rate and are preventable. The research began by enrolling 83 patients suffering from chronic pain into the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. The program lasted for more than five years, from April 2010 to October 2015, by also enrolling 42 non-test subjects six months before the test patients.
The study found that of the 83 patients who enrolled in the Medical Cannabis Program, 28 had stopped taking prescribed painkillers, and switched over to legal cannabis. Thus, from this study, we learn that legal cannabis can indeed act as a substitute for prescription painkillers.
The Need for Using Medical Cannabis in Place of Prescription Drugs
Researchers at the University of New Mexico conducted the study after they gained valuable insights from a renowned pain specialist, Doctor Anthony Reeve. Doctor Reeves, who was from the Industrial Rehabilitation Pain Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was also subsequently one of the first medical professionals to legalize the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Doctor Reeve came to this conclusion after observing severe side effects in his patients who were on not only prescription painkillers but also other types of prescription drugs. Coincidentally, the patients who the Doctor was treating were also enrolled in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program.
Can Medical Cannabis Replace Other Types of Medications?
Despite all the efforts put into finding out the benefits of medical cannabis, it still sometimes cannot work as a replacement for all medications. Although they work to cure many diseases, some medications, including different types of medicines for controlling blood pressure and blood thinners, certain antidepressants, anxiolytics, and seizure medications, are not a suitable replacement for legal cannabis. Additionally, substances like legal cannabis cannot act as substitutes even for some chemotherapeutics.
These medications work depending on the Cytochrome P450 enzymes present in the liver and help metabolize a vast majority of drugs that go into the system.
Cannabinoids are effective treatment methods and an excellent substitute for opioids. Researchers also conducted studies on the side effects of opioids, benzodiazepines, and cannabis on older patients. They found that they are cheaper and effective ways of treatment for a significant number of health conditions. It was also found that cannabis is effective in treating various pains and greatly averts the risk of an overdose against opioids.