Is Medical Marijuana Safer Than Prescription Drugs?

With the horrendous opioid epidemic taking people’s lives across the country, many people in need of pain relief are turning to medical marijuana. The Centers for Disease Control declared prescription drug overdose results in as many as 44 deaths each day. An estimated 52 million Americans over the age of 12 years old use prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. In addition to these alarming statistics, deaths caused by prescription drug overdose outnumber deaths caused by heroin and cocaine combined.

In addition to the number of death associated with prescription pain medications is the adverse side effects of painkillers including long-term health problems in some patients. Chronic constipation, is the most common side effect and has been shown to increase the risk of colon cancer and benign neoplasm, a type of slow-growing tumor. Another troublesome side effect associated with the use of opioid painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone, and methadone, is hyperalgesia. Hyperalgesia is phantom pain felt by long-term users.

According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) researchers generally consider medications like cannabidiol (CBD), which use purified chemicals derived from the marijuana plant, to be more promising therapeutically than use of the whole marijuana plant or its crude extracts. They also report there are many unknown chemicals within the marijuana plant. This poses a challenge for developers to provide accurate and consistent dosage information. Smoking marijuana presents a health risk. However, many food-related products have been developed and many that be absorbed into the system in the form of creams and ointments.

Little is known about the long-term effects of using medical marijuana relative to older adults or people with cancer, AIDS, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, or other neurodegenerative diseases. Further studies are needed to secure data whether certain person’s health may compromised by the use of medical marijuana.

To date, however, there have been no reported deaths related to the use of marijuana. In fact, cannabis may be responsible for a great decrease in opiate-related deaths in the 29 states, and DC, that have passed medical marijuana laws thus far. NIDA funded a study that showed: legally protected access to medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with lower levels of opioid prescriptions, lower self-reporting of nonmedical prescription opioid use, lower treatment admissions for prescription opioid use disorders, and reduction in prescription opioid overdose deaths. Reduction in deaths was present only in states with dispensaries, not just those that have passed medical marijuana laws, and was greater in states with active dispensaries.

Here at Infinity Malibu we offer medically supervised comfortable detox, licensed case management, and 24/7 clinical support. Our goal is to make sure when you leave these beautiful facilities your recovery will be lasting. Call today and get the support you need. 888-266-9048

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