Marijuana could treat chronic pain better than opioids
By Abby Hagtage
For a growing number of doctors, the answer comes in the form of another less dangerous drug: cannabis. This past November, three doctors in Illinois started a campaign called Physicians Against Injurious Narcotics, or PAIN, which aims to expand the state’s medical marijuana program to allow anyone that qualifies for opioids to also qualify for marijuana.
Last month, promising research results from Israel added scientific evidence to back their fight. Published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the study followed 2,970 cancer patients between 2015 and 2017 as they embarked on a medical marijuana treatment program for chronic pain. Each patient was able to choose a plan that specifically catered to their lifestyle, and to pick from 16 different strains of the drug. Pain scales were ranked before taking the medicine and then measured again after the treatment was underway.
The results were overwhelmingly positive. Of the 1,211 cancer patients who were ultimately surveyed (902 patients from the original group died and 680 stopped treatment), 95.9 percent reported an improvement in their condition, and the vast majority of them experienced a dramatic reduction in pain. While at the outset, 52.9 percent of patients had rated their pain between 8 and 10 (on a scale of 10), after six months of treatment, the number reporting that level of pain had dropped to just 4.6 percent.
On top of managing pain, the study showed cannabis capable of addressing other issues the patients were experiencing too. Of those surveyed, 91 percent reported improvements in nausea and vomiting, 87.5 percent reported an improvement in sleep disorders, and 84 percent noticed improvement in anxiety and depression. The study’s authors fully endorse the drug as a treatment option.
Cannabis’s success in treating chronic pain is echoed in a 2018 review of more than 10,000 abstracts on the topic. Also published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the large-scale review offers individual conclusions about marijuana’s ability to treat a variety of conditions. Under chronic pain, the authors write, “There were five fair-to-good quality systematic reviews that contributed to the conclusion that there is substantial evidence that Cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.”
A study spanning two decades conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin, a professor of medicine and co-director of the Asthma and Cough Center at UCLA, also concluded that long-term marijuana use does not impair lung function.
Provided a lofty title, “Marijuana use associations with pulmonary symptoms and function in tobacco smokers enrolled in the Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD,” the SPIROMICS study scrutinized the perceived relationship between marijuana use and respiratory function.
“Marijuana lifetime exposure and current use status were assessed at enrollment (online supplement Table 1). Marijuana use was categorized into current (use in the past 30 days), and former (use over 30 days ago) users and compared to never users. Those with a history of marijuana use estimated the number of bowls or joint equivalents smoked per week and how many years the participant had smoked marijuana (one bowl was equated to one joint in this analysis). This information was used to calculate the number of joint years which was kept as a continuous variable; 1 joint year is equivalent to smoking 1 joint or bowl per day for one year. A supplementary analysis was added to assess the impact of joint-year history with lung function and symptoms. Joint years were categorized into <10, 10-20, and >20 joint-year history and compared to those who reported zero joint years.”
War Veterans With PTSD Find Relief With Cannabis | Smoke Sessions
Marijuana to treat alcoholism
Salon: America needs different recovery programs
The conventional Western model of alcohol treatment has a statistically poor success rate, as approximately 50% “of individuals who begin an addiction treatment program relapse within six months”. Even more, doctors are known to prescribe rather powerful and addictive benzodiazepines to aid in alcohol withdrawal. While it’s obvious that cannabis use as an alcohol recovery tool is quite controversial in the conventional American mindset, studies show that it can be a powerful recovery tool.
HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol: Many people who have been long term alcohol abusers eventually find that quitting drinking is their best choice. Decades of daily heavy drinking can lead to physical dependence on alcohol and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if one stops drinking without tapering off or entering a medical detox.
Some people who decide to quit drinking alcohol will do so successfully with an abstinence based support group such as AA or SMART Recovery or SOS or WFS. Others will enter some sort of formal addiction treatment program. However, abstinence only support groups are not successful for all people who enter them. And a study by Walsh et al showed that more than 60% of patients given formal alcohol treatment relapsed into drinking alcohol. Other studies have shown similar outcomes.
Fortunately, there are other options for people who have been failed by AA or by formal alcoholism treatment programs. One of these options--which has proven highly successful for many individuals--is Marijuana Maintenance, which involves the substitution of cannabis for alcohol.
To date there have been no placebo-controlled double-blind studies of the success of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol for people with alcohol dependence. However, the late Dr Tod Mikuriya, MD (1933 - 2007) has long been an advocate of medical marijuana for a wide variety of uses included the treatment of alcohol dependence. In 2004 Dr Mikuriya published a study of 92 patients for whom he had prescribed cannabis as a treatment for their alcohol dependence.
The following quote from Dr Mikuriya's paper tells us about the efficacy of marijuana for these patients:As could be expected among patients seeking physician approval to treat alcoholism with cannabis, all reported that they'd found it "very effective" (45) or "effective" (38). Efficacy was inferred from other responses on seven questionnaires. Two patients did not make follow-up visits but had reported efficacy at the initial interview. Nine patients reported that they had practiced total abstinence from alcohol for more than a year and attributed their success to cannabis.
Three patients reported a sad irony: they had "fallen off the wagon" when they had to stop using cannabis in anticipation of drug tests. Patient S., a 27-year-old cable installer, had six alcohol-related arrests by age 21, ". . . after not smoking herb (for probation drug test) and blacking out on alcohol, I found my drinking getting out of hand and I began getting into more trouble." He later relapsed when denied use of cannabis at a residential treatment facility.
Dr Mikuriya's full article can be read here:
Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol: A Harm-Reduction Approach
Veterans group ratchets up pressure on White House and Congress to support medical marijuana research
Drug abuse / rehab (Group help/self help)
By Christopher R Rice
SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration can get you in touch with a drug abuse treatment program near you. 800-662-4357
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
Marijuana to treat opioid addiction
Opioid overdose rates have more than tripled in the past two decades and are now the second-leading cause of accidental death in the United States. There are many questions about the relationship between marijuana use and opioid addiction and treatment – such as why opioid death rates are 25 percent lower in states that have legalized medical marijuana.
Hundreds of people in Massachusetts who are addicted to opioids are being treated with medical marijuana, according to the Boston Herald.
“We have a statewide epidemic of opioid deaths,” said Dr. Gary Witman of Canna Care Docs, a network of facilities that qualifies patients into medical marijuana programs in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Delaware and the District of Columbia. “As soon as we can get people off opioids to a nonaddicting substance — and medicinal marijuana is nonaddicting — I think it would dramatically impact the amount of opioid deaths.”
Witman, who works in a Massachusetts Canna Care clinic, has treated about 80 patients who were addicted to opioids, anti-anxiety medication or muscle relaxers with cannabis through a one-month tapering program. More than three-quarters of patients stopped taking the harder drugs, he told the newspaper.
Witman said cannabis can be a safer alternative for managing the symptoms patients had been using opioids to treat, such as chronic pain or anxiety.
Another Massachusetts physician, Dr. Harold Altvater, said he has also successfully used medical marijuana as a substitute for other medications. “You are basically taking something that can be very harmful for an individual, and substituting it with another chemical, just like you would any other drug, that has a wider safety margin,” he said. “So if the goal is to decrease the body count … the goal would be to get them on to a chemical that was safer.”
Some doctors say cannabis substitution therapy needs extensive followup. “It might be an exit drug for some, or an entry drug for others,” said Dr. Anil Kumar. “If you don’t have a way of monitoring this patient who is saying ‘give me marijuana and I will stop taking narcotics,’ they may do both.”
© 2018 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids – Where Families Find Answers. All rights reserved.
In 2009 ScienceDaily published a report by Valerie Dauge of the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System. In this report, she and her team concluded that, when given 10 mg injections of THC (the main active ingredient found in marijuana), lab rats who were previously addicted to morphine and/or heroin gradually reduced their dependence on the drug, finally being cured. It's hypothesized then, that opiate addiction could soon become a reason for a prospective patient to obtain a medical marijuana prescription.
Cannabis hasn't just been used to treat those addicted to opiates either. It can also help reduce the need for opiate-based drugs in patients with chronic pain and severe pain. In several cases, patients who lived a life that would be full of pain if it weren't for heavy-duty painkillers such as Oxy-codone, Oxy-contin, morphine, etc, were given a prescription a 2 - 4 "puffs" of marijuana periodically throughout the day. In these cases, the patients pain medications were reduced by up to half the amount they normally had to take to be pain-free. This, in turn, caused them to be less-dependent on the drugs.
In a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Legion National Commander Denise Rohan outlined how the White House and Congress could improve the delivery of benefits to the nation’s 20 million-plus veterans. Medical cannabis was on the list.
In fulfilling its mission to make sure veterans are taken care of, “we have to find replacements for the opioid epidemic we have in this nation,” Rohan said.
The organization’s call for additional research into cannabis as a potential treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain and other ailments was reiterated by Louis Celli, National Director Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation at the Legion.
Medical Marijuana's Main Ingredient Isn't Dangerous or Addictive, World Health Organization Report Says
By Melina Delkic, Newsweek
A top global health agency has declared the main ingredient in medical cannabis nonaddictive and nontoxic, according to a new report.
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential,” wrote the World Health Organization, a U.N. agency that focuses on public health. Researchers spent months looking into cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that’s often used for medical purposes. It often comes in the form of oils, drops or capsules.
The organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) found “no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” They also found that, according to several clinical trials, CBD could be good for treating epilepsy and “a number of other medical conditions.”
Although the report came out in November, it drew international attention only on Wednesday, after the WHO published concrete recommendations from the ECDD’s November meeting. In addition to recommending a stricter scheduling for a type of opioid, the committee recommended a new approach to cannabis, responding to increased interest among its member states in researching and legalizing it.
In emails to Newsweek, spokespeople for the WHO clarified that the report very clearly "does not say that WHO recommends the use of cannabidiol." What the WHO recommends "is that cannabidiol should not be scheduled for international control on the basis of current evidence, and that a fuller review will be carried out next year, when other cannabinoids are discussed."
The committee said that CBD did not need to be controlled (or government-regulated) on an international level, and that this should be left up to individual nations. "Saying it should not be scheduled for international control means that it should not be prohibited, at the international level, to produce and supply it for specific purposes, such as medical treatment and research, given that WHO has not so far seen evidence of potential for abuse or harm from cannabidiol," a spokesperson wrote. "As to what is legal or illegal, that comes under national law, so it is up to countries to decide."
The committee will start the expanded review of CBD in May 2018, when it will make more specific recommendations and conclusions.
The legality of CBD has been a source of confusion for years. Even though it’s the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, the Drug Enforcement Administration emphasized in 2016 that it is still illegal and still a Schedule I substance, along with drugs like heroin and LSD. The DEA does not recognize a distinction between CBD and any other kinds of marijuana.
Even though the DEA once eased trials for CBD in late 2015, it released a statement in July saying that CBD was still very much illegal. "Because 'Charlotte's Web'/CBD oil is not an FDA-approved drug...it is a schedule I controlled substance under the [Controlled Substances Act]," the DEA said.
Because marijuana is a Schedule I drug, the DEA rarely approves research on it. And even though many states have legalized it for medical and recreational use, it remains illegal on the federal level.
Proponents in the U.S. have long argued that states and researchers should at least be allowed to look into CBD's benefits and either prove or disprove them.
Even some Republicans, who are typically more hesitant about marijuana legalization, are beginning to agree. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced a bill to that effect. “We lack the science to support use of medical marijuana products like CBD oils, not because researchers are unwilling to do the work but because of bureaucratic red tape and over-regulation,” Hatch said.
Some children were abused or abandoned or even worse and this led to their street drug use. Unfortunately most teens have very little or no access at all to psych doctors or psych meds or someone to prescribe and regulate. Instead they have plenty of access to street drug dealers who will sell you as much as you can afford to buy no questions asked, no directions for consumption on the baggie or from the dealer. And if you don't have any money you can always get a front.
Some people can not handle their drug use and allow the drugs to do them. This will most certainly lead to arrest, poverty, homelessness and crime. While you are in this downward spiral your friends or those you have chosen to be around will be in a similar state and therefore not be able to offer any real help. Some people will reach their bottom at this point and seek help on their own, while others will seek out stronger more dangerous drugs until they overdose and die.
If you are on this page you are obviously seeking help either for yourself or for someone else. I hope that I can help. There is a brand new treatment that is thousands of years old that has no side effects and has an incredible success rate. Unfortunately it is not a product that I have for sale or can profit off of so I'm still just a starving artist. If this information helps please return and make a generous tax deductible donation to help keep this information online and up-to-date.
From PTSD to opioid addiction there is only one medicine that cures and does not just treat your symptoms. If you have not heard this yet CBD which is extracted from marijuana but has none of the euphoria that THC does will cure your addictions from alcohol to opioids. The pharmaceutical companies do not want this information to get out because marijuana grows for free in all 50 states and has zero side effects. Below I will publish the scientific findings for further reading/research but this page will be blocked by Google so I need you to re post this page into your social media accounts so that the people who need this information can find it.
Don't want your information monitored online? Whatever you do, don't Google.
Google Alternatives: DuckDuckGo / StartPage
FYI: Anyone smoking/ingesting marijuana is getting CBDs, it is not necessary to extract the CBDs accept for children.
FYI: If you used marijuana during your alcohol or drug use, marijuana can still cure your addiction(s). When you crave alcohol or opioids simply turn to marijuana. You may need a stronger dosage than what you were using such as wax or edibles to cure your addiction. The difference is that marijuana is non lethal and non addictive meaning that alcohol and drugs can kill you but marijuana can't. You can over consume marijuana but you cannot overdose on marijuana or its extracts.
For further reading/research:
Study Exonerates Marijuana Smoking, No Link to COPD
Marijuana and Pregnancy
New research demonstrated that the previous studies were deficient as they did not consider tobacco smoking separate from cannabis smoking. Utilizing research protocols that separated those who only used cannabis from those who used cannabis and tobacco, the researchers found that the women who only used cannabis did not have an increase for preterm birth or a low birth weight baby.
Those who used both cannabis and tobacco suffered an 85 percent increased risk of having preterm birth or low birth weight babies. Cannabis only did not produce those results—it was the tobacco. It has been long known that tobacco use during pregnancy is detrimental to the fetus and the same is even truer for alcohol, yet no one seems to be demanding the prohibition of these substances in the name of fetal health.
Opioids used during pregnancy to treat pain can result in babies having spina bifida (neural defect), hydrocephaly (fluid in the brain), congenital heart defects and other deforming and life threatening problems. Anti-depressants, especially SSRIs like Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft, have been demonstrated to produce autism spectrum, developmental disorders and birth defects in babies.
Complicating the picture is that neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) occurs when a baby is exposed to a drug in the womb before birth and then goes through withdrawal from the drug after birth. NAS is most often the result of a pregnant woman taking opioids.
Rather than discouraging women from using cannabis during pregnancy, doctors should be encouraging women to use cannabis in place of the far more dangerous drugs they are given during pregnancy to treat pain, depression and insomnia. This outdated and anachronistic anti-cannabis policy continues to negatively impact the lives of millions of expectant mothers and their soon to be born children.
UnitedPatientsGroup: A 2009 study performed by the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System found that injections of THC, the primary active chemical in cannabis, helped eliminate dependence on opiates such as morphine and heroin in test animals.
A survey compiling self-reported addiction treatment and relapse rates among substance users, “Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol and Other Drugs” that was published in the Harm Reduction Journal, found that respondents used cannabis to curb their alcohol cravings, as an alternative to previous use of prescription drugs, and even as a substitute for more potent drugs such as cocaine. Tellingly, 57.4% of respondents chose to use cannabis because it provided better symptom management as well.
Another study published in the Harm Reduction Journal, “Long term cannabis users seeking medical cannabis in California,” found that medical cannabis users were much less likely to use more potent drugs, and even reported less tobacco use than non-cannabis users.
It’s clear that more effective addiction recovery treatment is needed in our country. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, depending on the addiction, up to half of individuals who begin an addiction treatment program relapse within six months. As more states move to legalize medical marijuana, it is becoming easier for scientists, doctors, and researchers to point to the benefits of marijuana as a treatment for pain relief and symptom management for many diseases. Benefits now known to the scientific community include:
Medical marijuana patients are able to function more fully in daily activities and work, unlike with many prescription opiates for symptom relief.
Medical marijuana patients report fewer unpleasant side effects with marijuana than with many traditional and stronger drug treatments.
Medical marijuana patients achieve more effective symptom relief using marijuana than with other alternatives.
Since withdrawal from alcohol and serious drug use often prompts the same symptoms as other medical conditions that marijuana is used to treat (anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, and sleeplessness,) it is logical that responsible use of marijuana could also help with addiction recovery.
At the same time, medical marijuana as an addiction recovery treatment is a sensitive topic. Do your research to separate marijuana fact from marijuana fiction to decide whether this might be a treatment option for you, and remember that like any other healthcare decision, this should be discussed with your doctor or other trusted medical professional.
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