Opioid Addiction: Can Marijuana Ease Withdrawals?

We all know that marijuana is said to be a gateway drug. But let’s be honest, if you have an addictive personality so is alcohol and caffeine. A milder stimulant can definitely lead to the use of more harmful stimulants, but perhaps they can also be used to our benefit. I’m specifically referring to marijuana here since it is known to have many medical uses and the chemicals found in Cannabis have quite a few health benefits.

Opioid withdrawal can be a very slow and painful experience for addicts when they want to quit using. Depending on how long the addict was using for, withdrawal can last days up to weeks. They will experience symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, muscle aches and spasms, stomach cramps and diarrhea, hypertension and temperature fluctuations, excessive sweating and even insomnia. They may experience many of these during their withdrawal and some may even experience all these symptoms, making it that much harder to stay clean.

Read: Could Marijuana Be the Answer to Alzheimer’s?

Although it may seem risky to use medical marijuana to treat an addict, it can treat most of these symptoms naturally. The dangerous thing would be to treat these symptoms with more  harsh chemicals or to leave the symptoms untreated, risking relapse which often results in an overdose.

The chemicals found in marijuana are natural pain relievers and is much less invasive than opiates. Marijuana can also help relieve anxiety and tension, making the process mentally easier. The right dosage of cannabis can relieve nausea and vomiting, making it possible to hold food down in order to recover faster. It can also completely eradicate the severe stomach cramps and muscle aches due to the concentration of THC and CBD.

Indica and Sativa strains are bred for high quantities of THC, making these the ideal strains for relieving withdrawal symptoms. Dosages should still be monitored and although cannabis isn’t naturally addictive, use should be kept to a minimum throughout the process.

The common downside of using medical marijuana is the issue where patients often smoke it allowing toxins from the smoke to enter the body. In the recent years, doctors have suggested patients use a dry herb vaporizer to ensure that pure THC and CBD enters the body minimizing the possibility of negative effects.

Read: What Does CBD Do When It Enters Your Body?

The use of marijuana to treat withdrawal is still a very controversial subject with many believing the this will only make the opioid problem worse. It has been proven though that states that have legalized marijuana have lower opioid use amongst chronic pain sufferers. The study went even further to prove that states that permit recreational use of marijuana have even lower percentages of opioid use than those that permit only medical marijuana.

Even more shockingly, the study found that states with legal medical marijuana have twenty-five percent lower opioid overdose rates than those that still criminalize any form of cannabis.

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