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Medical Cannabis: Increased Accessibility Could Reduce Opioid Use

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With the legalization in different states of the U.S, and different countries globally, the benefits of cannabis are starting to become noticeable. Medical cannabis has proven to either treat specific illnesses or at the very least, alleviate many of the major symptoms. Consequently, it makes the treatment more feasible. Now, study suggests that medical cannabis could reduce opioid use.

However, legal states in the U.S have reported a significant change recently. The state’s medical cannabis programs have resulted in reduced opioid prescription requests. Recently, the latest study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS). The research suggested that due to the accessibility of medical cannabis, it has resulted in a 20% overall drop in the number of opioids prescriptions issued.

The study on the effect of accessibility of medical cannabis on opioid use

opioid

Medical Cannabis Network

The study made a few reservations. One of them was that orthopedic surgeons are the most common prescribers of opioids. In fact, researchers have stressed the importance of surgeons to reveal other options. The options included cannabis with the availability of healthcare facilities.

Medical cannabis is used for inflammation and pain relief. Its benefits for the symptoms are well-known. Moreover, studies also reveal the potential benefits of cannabis for cancer and seizure patients. However, there is still a reduced accessibility to medical cannabis. Hence, researchers are unable to explore the complete potential of medical cannabis.

Legal issues

It is important to note that despite the legalization of recreational and/or medical cannabis in some states, there are other hurdles. The most concerning one would be the federal law. The federal law considers cannabis as an illegal drug. It further has imprisonment laws for the possession, buying, and selling of the drug.

Results

The study has covered various huge nationwide database studies. Those pieces of research specifically, have shown the effects of the legalization of medical cannabis on opioids prescription rates. There was a significant decrease in both opioid prescription rates, and mortality rates in reference to opioid.

Furthermore, the authors have quantified the data about the availability of medical cannabis in legal states. They concluded that an increase in accessibility, increased the potentiality of patients to make the switch.

However, the study dd not entirely focus on opioid patients and their replacement in a few cases. Hence, despite results showing a 20% drop, there is no further confirmation with individual patients. This is in reference to the replacement being cannabis and no other drug.

What the authors had to say

The authors confirmed that further confirmation was not performed. Hence, results regarding the direct impact of the replacement of opioids weren’t possible either. So while there was a certain drop caused by a specific variable, there is no confirmation that another variable didn’t affect the results.

The authors confirmed no results of direct causation. However, the records provided data after the observation of organizations over time. They used a combination of a cohort database and multivariable regression analysis. However, the study continues to focus on orthopedic surgeons deciding to make changes.

Orthopedic surgeons are known the be the most common health care professionals to prescribe opioids. Hence, the authors stress the importance of other options that orthopedic surgeons could suggest to their patients. This would potentially reduce opioid use.

The study further explains to be the first study to research on such patterns. That is in reference to the effect of the implementation of state cannabis regulations on the number of prescriptions of opioids.

Opioids aren’t the first drugs that cannabis has hoped to replace. Other prescription drugs have included benzodiazepines etc. A 1990 double-blind study,  a 2012 review, and a 2013 review, have further discussed the replacement of opioids with cannabis, in different aspects.

Masters in Biotechnology, the author loves to write about health and fitness in her spare time.

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Cannabis

Cannabis Rendered Helpful in Saving Lives of COVID-19 Patients

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Recent Researches revealed how Cannabis plant can help in saving lives of COVID-19 patients. The active components found in Cannabis Plant make it seem as a possible treatment for coronavirus infections.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabis

The University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute are conducting further researches to study the utility of CBD to check its utility in treating inflammation of lungs caused by coronavirus. The anti-inflammatory properties of Cannabis can be especially valuable in improving issues related to behaviour, immunity and brain.

Researchers explained that the infection is related to a cytokine superstorm, that causes symptoms like cough, fever and muscle pain. The increased inflammation can even cause pneumonia and breathing difficulties. Breathing difficulties are the number one cause of deaths due to COVID-19.

Also Read: Cannabis Found Effective in Treating Pain with Zero Side Effects

Reduction in the Amount of Cytokines

Previously, researches conducted on CBD show that it can bring down the level of several cytokines, that cause inflammation, including IL-6. It also helps in controlling interleukin (IL)-2, interferon gamma, IL-1α and β, inducible protein-10, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α. Excess of these leads to severe COVID-19 conditions. Moreover, CBD also increases the  interferons production. Interferon is a protein that prevents viruse replication and activates immune cells.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have worked wonders for asthma patients by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine production. CBD also reduces pulmonary fibrosis. This condition causes scarring, thickening and damage to the lung tissue, along with making breathing considerably more painful. COVID-19 actually leaves patients with pulmonary fibrosis. This is the major reason why Cannabis can greatly help COVID-19 patients.

Recent Researches revealed how Cannabis plant can help in saving lives of COVID-19 patients. The active components found in Cannabis

Image Credits: healtheuropa.eu

An insight into how COVID-19 works

Much like other respiratory pathogens, COVID-19 is also spread through respiratory droplets. However, it also has potential for contact and aerosol spread.

Coronavirus makes it way into the human body through receptor-mediation. This is done through angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2). ACE2 is present in lung tissue, oral and nasal mucosa, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and testes.

This information opens door to a new way of hindering the spread of coronavirus. Modulation of ACE2 could prove fruitful in this regard.

Cannabis’ prospects

A special strain of cannabis can render this function. Through ACE2 modulation it could block the virus’ entry into the human body. Nipping the evil in the bud.

Basically, ACE2 acts like doorways to the virus. The main idea is to temporarily alter the extent of ACE2 gene expression. Therefore, it could very well make the human body a no entry zone for the virus. The same strain could also be used to stop the virus’ propagation if it has made its way into a person’s body.

This is where Cannabis sativa comes into play. Plants with high CBD content have been proposed as a way to modulate the ACE2 gene expression in target tissues.

At this point in time, it is more of a theory than a confirmed fact. However, it sure opens a new avenue with promising prospects. If it proves successful, the next step would be to start manufacture that particular strain into a medication.

It sure looks like CBD properties of cannabis can prove fruitful in the treatment and prevention of coronavirus. However, further research will prove whether it is the case or not.

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Cannabis – A Previously Taboo Topic

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Cannabis Legalization is a debate that gets a lot of attention all across the globe. Cannabis was a taboo topic 250 years ago and still is in some parts of the world.

The Study of Alzate

In 18th century, a Mexican scientist and priest, Alzate, studied the healing effects of the controversial plant. His article covered several medical benefits of the herb for treating jaundice, cough, tumors, tinnitus, depression and more. Moreover, he said that it was a great raw material for producing sailing ships ropes. However, the Spanis Crown banned it altogether because of its hallucinogenic properties.

Alzate not only studied the effects of Cannabis on himself but also gathered first hand experiences of indigenous people and sailors.

Today most of Alzate’s findings are supported by tons of medical evidence. In fact, Cannabis is a plant with infinite benefits.

Also Read: Cannabis Found Effective in Treating Pain With ZERO Side Effects

Cannabis Really A TABOO Topic?

Society has always viewed Cannabis as a destructive and even a lethal substance. It is true that cannabis is a highly addictive drug and its overuse can lead to serious drug addiction. Drug addicts often end up ruining their lives and the lives of those around them. This the major reason why marijuana has always been one of the taboo topics. People view marijuana addicts as individuals who end up rotting on streets.

However, this is not true for everybody. Cannabis is not merely a drug with addictive potential but a very useful organic substance. Cannabis makes people peaceful, it helps them think past the boundaries of commercial materialism and militarism. Note that excessive use of every substance is hazardous and the same goes for Cannabis.

Marijuana is a wonderful gift of nature that has helped human treat various conditions. From Sciatica to anxiety, PTSD to asthma, tumors to insomnia, Cannabis has the potential to treat them all. Therefore, considering Cannabis a taboo is unfair to the humankind.

Also Read: Cannabis May Be A Cure For Various Cancers

Cannabis & COVID-19

COVID-19 struck the world in November 2019 and since then the world is facing a major crisis. Coronavirus started spreading globally in March 2020 and has not stopped since. It reached the global peak in June, 2020 affecting more than 12 million people. Around 530,000 people lost the battle of their lives to the global pandemic. Countries are out of policies to implement. Governments are facing the trickiest times of their rule. They are torn between the options of opening the country for routine businesses and impementing lockdowns.

In these trying times, Cannabis found another utility. Cannabis has proved to improve the health of COVID-19 patients and prevent Coronavirus. The University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that certain Cannabis sativa extracts can be used in treatments to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Cannabis sativa extracts have an effect on the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. These are the proteins which act as an entry point for the virus.

Cannabidiol (CBD), major component of cannabis, has amazing anit-inflammatory properties that can treat breathing problems. Doctors prescribe Cannabinoids to treat chronic pain and neurological conditions, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

It is high time to consider the utility of Cannabis and cross it out from the list of taboo topics. With its legalization in Turkey, U.S.A., Peru, Poland, Finland and Italy, it is hoped that the rest of the world wil follow the suit.

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Cannabis Found Effective in Treating Pain With Zero Side-Effects

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Recent Researches on Cannabis revealed its efficacy in Treating Pain with zero side-effects. A survey conducted as a part of this researched showed that patients experienced relief using cannabis for pain.

An Effective Substitute of Opioid

The survey also showed that Cannabis has greatly substituted Opioid. Opioid is a harmful drug which is used for managing pain. Previously, Opioid was the only drug effective in treating pain. However, it had a lot of side-effects. It causes drowsiness, mental fog, nausea, and constipation. It can also cause slowed breathing, which can lead to overdose deaths.

The daily use of cannabis in patients showed prolonged improvements in pain management and increased quality of life. In just a short interval of only three months, patients began to feel improvement in overall physical and mental health.

Effectiveness of CBD Oil in Pain Management

CBD (Cannabidiol) exists as a chemical compound which is obtained from the cannabis plant. Moreover, it decreases the pain with no development of any mind-altering or psychoactive effects. Additionally, CBD oil is produced by the extraction of CBD powder from the cannabis plant. Recommendations involve the use of olive or coconut oil, as a mixture, for better use.

Also Read: Good News For Sciatica Patients: Study Reveals Effective Results of CBD Oil

The latest studies on CBD oil have unveiled its neuroprotective, anti-seizure, and pain relieving qualities. Owing to its remarkable impacts on the human body, several celebrities are advocating for CBD.

Worldwide Legalization of Cannabis

It is essential to note that 33 states of the U.S. have legalized the use of medicinal Cannabis. Moreover, 11 states have legalized the use of medical Cannabis. With the legalization of Cannabis, the demand and supply of cannabis increased by multifold.

Also Read: Asian Visitor Caught Smuggling 6kgs of Cannabis in Dubai

Cannabis has proven to be extremely useful in treating various medical conditions especially depression, anxiety, insomnia and PTSD. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a winner in treating breathing conditions as severe as asthma.

COVID-19 & CANNABIS

In view of the recent pandemic, COVID-19, Cannabis has also found its utility in speeding up the recovery of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease that has infected over 11 million people in the world. It is a cause of nearly half a million deaths worldwide. Medical marijuana has helped many people recover from the deadly disease.

In the view of the situation, many different countries have also relaxed their laws on the use of cannabis and cannabis related products. COVID-19 very badly affected economies all around the world. Tax revenues generated by the sales of Cannabis might help lift the deflating economies.

DANGERS of Cannabis

Cannabis plant consists of 2 major compounds; CBD (Cannabinol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). While CBD is responsible for relaxing and calming the brain and nerves, THC is responsible for the ‘buzz’ or ‘high feeling’. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) acts on the specific receptors in brain cells and slowly deteriorates our brain.

However, Cannabis is an extremely useful drug if used in optimal amounts.It is highly effective in Treating Pain With Zero Side-Effects.

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