I’ve told you before how much the legalization of cannabis has changed my drug prescribing habits.
In fact, I was fortunate to have been at the forefront of this movement, as I’m licensed in the state of California—where marijuana has been medically legal for years. So I’ve seen firsthand what this plant can do.
And today, I’ll continue singing its praises, as a new study showcases the amazingly versatile power of prescription cannabis. Because if Tuesday’s discussion about the dangers of poor sleep taught us anything, it’s that the potential payoff is as high as the risks are low.
A safer choice for insomnia and pain relief
A recently published study of roughly 1,000 medical marijuana users found that, among the 65 percent who took cannabis for pain, a good 80 percent reported it to be incredibly effective. (A finding that matches my experience as a prescriber to a tee.)
I probably don’t have to explain why this is such a big deal. But I will: This means that 82 percent of subjects were able to significantly reduce their use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain meds—or stop taking them altogether. And nearly 90 percent were able to quit opioid painkillers!
That’s not all, either. A good 75 percent of this study’s subjects also took cannabis to help them sleep. And 84 percent reported that it did exactly that. In fact, most were also able to reduce or abandon their use of OTC or prescription sleep aids.
And if this isn’t exactly the kind of news we need in the midst of an opioid epidemic, I don’t know what is. Here we have a simple little plant that works wonders to curb addiction… and yet still, it’s only available on a state-by-state basis. (With the most opioid-addicted states still suffering without access.)
Imagine, for a moment, what would happen if the one-in-five Americans suffering from chronic pain, or the one-in-three Americans who can’t sleep, all had medical access to this powerful plant?
Now, I realize that traditional OTC painkillers can provide some relief. But despite their reputation for safety, the truth of the matter is that such relief comes with serious risks—especially to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, your kidneys, your liver, and your heart.
And opioids and sleeping pills? Well, they introduce a whole different set of lethal problems.
Legal cannabis saves lives
The main reason we’re dealing with an opioid epidemic is that patients rapidly develop a tolerance to these drugs—which means they need higher and higher doses to achieve the same effects.
It’s not hard to see the risk this poses for chronic pain patients in particular. And it’s no wonder that, after enough time, the risk for opioid overdose becomes dangerously high.
Plus, many sleeping pills also lead to dependencies—not to mention grogginess that can interfere with your work and personal life. (And that’s just for starters. How many cases of Ambien® users sleep walking, sleep eating, and even sleep driving—without any recall the next day—have we heard about now?)
To say that we need safe and effective alternatives would be the understatement of the century. And you know what? Medical marijuana and/or cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the cannabis plant’s chief non-psychoactive components—could turn out to be exactly what we’ve been looking for.
To me, this study makes an airtight case for widening access to medical cannabis. Especially when you consider other research, showing that states like Colorado (where this plant is legal) enjoy significantly lower rates of opioid prescription… not to mention the accompanying dip in overdose death.
Pardon the pun, but it’s high time doctors started taking cannabis seriously. And for the sake of their patients, that they learn how to properly dose and prescribe it.
Because especially where sleep and pain are concerned, Big Pharma’s contributions have brought nothing but trouble.
P.S. I went into greater detail about the benefits of medical marijuana in the July 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The controversial herb with the power to topple Big Pharma”). Subscribers have access to this and all of my past content in the archives. So if you haven’t already, click here to sign up today!
“Could marijuana be an effective pain alternative to prescription medications?.” Science Daily, 07/01/2019. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190701224523.htm)