Anyone reading the news or watching television is surely familiar with the current opioid crisis in the United States. Many people, including healthcare professionals and politicians, are calling for action to reduce opioid addiction.
Given the number of people who report experiencing relief from medical marijuana and hemp oil, could hemp oil help ease the struggles of opioid addiction?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2016 some 11.5 MILLION people misused prescription opioids. Over 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses, with prescription opioids being accountable for an estimated 40% of those deaths. It’s sobering stuff.
And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the same year a staggering 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people were for opioids. That’s a total of over 214 MILLION opioid prescriptions.
Taking aside the so called ‘recreational’ use of opioids, the main reason for prescribing opioids is for the relief of acute or chronic pain. But there may be an alternative to opioids.
Phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil is credited with many beneficial properties. It does this by promoting homeostasis in the body in a way that no other natural supplement is know to do. The way that hemp oil assists with wellness and relief from many challenges people struggle with is astounding. And, at the same time, it’s almost unheard of for anyone taking hemp oil to say they experienced negative effects.
Let’s look at the evidence that supports hemp as a potential replacement for opioids.
Hemp oil relieves physical discomfort: Many people will testify to the relieving properties of hemp oil, and there is clinical research that backs them up. A number of clinical studies have concluded that hemp is effective for the management of many types of physical discomfort.
Unlike opioids, Hemp isn’t addictive: Hemp oil contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. In fact, other cannabinoids found in hemp counteract the psychoactive influence of THC.
You can’t die from an overdose of Hemp: According to the National Cancer Institute, “lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.”
You can’t get high on hemp oil: As we discussed, with less than 0.3% THC, hemp oil doesn’t get you high. It does, however, help to relieve anxiety and stress. For the hundreds of thousands of people who take opioids ‘recreationally’ to help them get over anxiety, this could be the answer.
Whole plant hemp oil works on many levels: The entourage effect <(link to entourage effect article)> produced by extracting whole plant hemp oil works holistically. The various cannabinoids work in synergy to multiply the individual effects. There is no entourage effect with prescription opioids.
The evidence for hemp oil as an alternative to opioids, at least for some people, is something that should be looked into. Carefully and quickly. As opioid abuse spreads to the point that the government describes it as an epidemic, maybe turning to safer, natural alternatives is the answer.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
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