The news today is riddled with stories about opioid addiction. And while just over a decade ago, that statement would have people's minds thinking towards street drugs like heroin, in reality, the majority of opioid addictions are the result of doctors over prescribing powerful pain relievers that are not only highly habit forming and addictive, but also potentially fatal. Thankfully, modern medicine seems to be turning (slowly) towards more natural methods of pain relief, and it is marijuana that is leading the pack.
According to a Harvard-led systematic review of 28 studies examining the efficacy of exo-cannabinoids (e.g. synthetic formulations or cannabinoids from the plant) to treat various pain and medical issues, the author concluded, "Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high quality evidence.”
Dr. Donald Abrams, a professor and Chief of Hematology/Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, supports cannabis to treat chronic pain, suggesting the following, “Given the safety profile of cannabis compared to opioids, cannabis appears to be far safer. However, if a patient is already using opioids, I would urge them not to make any drastic changes to their treatment protocol without close supervision by their physician.”