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CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS TURN TO CBD FOR RELIEF

 

Chronic pain is one of the biggest reasons adults seek medical care. However, according to an open survey conducted by The Journal of American Medical Association, almost half of primary care providers (PCPs) are refusing to treat chronic pain in patients.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that chronic pain affects approximately 11% to 40% of U.S. adults. Moreover, the institution noted that chronic pain can deteriorate mobility, severely impacting daily activities.

 

Generally, most patients are prescribed some sort of opioid in order to temporarily suppress their pain. However, the constant use of opioids can lead to dependency and kickstart an addiction. On top of that, the long-term use of opioids results in adverse effects in several organ systems. Additionally, evidence shows that chronic opioid therapy is also associated with constipation, sleep-disordered breathing, and fractures, according to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

 

Eventually, the constant use of opioids can also cause significant declines in health-related qualities of life. As a result, many patients have decided to turn towards cannabis as a remedy for their pain.

 

Specifically, many patients are using CBD or cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found within the cannabis plant, to suppress their symptoms. Normally, most people think of cannabis as a psychoactive drug that stimulates mind-altering sensations, however, CBD is the exact opposite.

 

The psychotropic effects of cannabis are predominantly caused by the THC content, which is usually contained within the marijuana plant under the cannabis family. On the other hand, CBD is primarily derived from the hemp plant, which also falls under the cannabis family, and has been shown to not cause any psychoactive effects on its users. Notably, both CBD and THC offer consumers therapeutic effects, but because of the psychoactive nature of THC, regulators are more inclined to approve CBD use.

 

Consequently, CBD has become more and more ingrained in today's healthcare scene because of its growing acceptance. Furthermore, as a number of clinical trials have claimed that CBD does not cause dependency, medical professionals are much more open to prescribing it to their patients. Nevertheless, industry experts have noted that there is still not enough data from trials to fully understand the efficacy of CBD. As a result, researchers are actively conducting clinical trials to disprove misconceptions about CBD and ultimately commercialize it as an alternative treatment to a number of medications.

 

Now, the hemp-derived CBD market is expected to reach sales of USD 22 Billion by 2022, outpacing the rest of the cannabis market, according to Brightfield Group.

 

The most commonly abused opioids are typically Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Demerol, which are all types of painkillers. The National Institute on Drug Abuse highlighted that the misuse of opioids has drastically increased in recent years. For example, almost half of all the opioid deaths in the U.S. involve a prescription opioid. Some reports have also indicated the misuse of opioid prescriptions can open the door to heroin use.

 

The institution cited a report saying that users switch to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids. However, a study conducted by Mount Sinai in New York City indicated that CBD reduced drug cue-induced cravings and anxiety in the participants.

 

The study included 42 men and women with a history of heroin abuse who were not current users at the time. Yasmin Hurd, Director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai, mentioned that the findings indicate that CBD holds a significant promise for individuals with heroin use disorder. Hurd continued and noted that a successful non-opioid treatment would greatly add to the addiction medication tool box and also reduce the death toll and healthcare costs.

 

Following the study, Hurd is now actively examining how CBD affects the brain and another one to pursue the development of CBD-based treatments for opioid addiction. "That's the whole issue -- decreasing relapse and decreasing overdose -- that we face right now," said Hurd. "It's very difficult for people to stay off heroin. When people return from rehab and come back home, the environmental cues are very strong." But CBD has promise because "it's very specific," she continued, according to MedPage. "It's not rewarding; it's not methadone or THC. CBD is actually decreasing connections to environmental cues. That's why it is intriguing."

Article originally posted at: Financialbuzz.com

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