Why People Are Substituting CBD For Opioids

Why People Are Substituting CBD For Opioids

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 50,000 Americans have died from opioid-related overdoses in 2019. As a result, a significant number of people suffering from fibromyalgia have found an effective replacement to powerful painkillers in cannabidiol or CBD. Cannabidiol is the second most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant.

How does cannabidiol differ from medical marijuana?

CBD is the second most prevalent active ingredient of cannabis or marijuana. CBD comes from the hemp plant and is one of the components of medical marijuana; however, it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, CBD does not exhibit any effects indicative of abuse and dependence potential among humans. To date, there have been no reports of public health problems due to the use of pure CBD.

CBD is being marketed as a mood stabilizer and pain reliever without the intoxicating effects of the common cannabinoid, THC. THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is an ingredient in marijuana that makes a person feel “high.” Meanwhile, many states in the US have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. Hemp-derived cannabidiol has been removed from Schedule 1 status that is reserved for drugs that do not have currently accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse.

Treating fibromyalgia with cannabidiol

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain that is accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. The patient suffers pain throughout the body but most particularly on the tender points where it is worst. It is not easy to treat fibromyalgia. There are medications that can be prescribed but they have significant side effects and moderate benefits. There are alternative medicines like acupuncture and massage but they are not covered by health insurance.

Some people have substituted medical cannabis for opioids and painkillers because they believe that cannabis provides better pain relief with few side effects. However, medical cannabis has high concentrations of THC that can make the patient “high.” According to Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D. a research investigator of the Department of Anaesthesiology and Chronic Pain and Relief Centre, CBD is less harmful than medical cannabis because it is non-intoxicating and has less potential for abuse. People will experience the same relief from CBD but without the harmful effects.

Results from the study made by Boehnke and his team revealed that more than 70% of 878 people suffering from fibromyalgia are using CBD instead of opioids and other pain medications. People who have been using CBD products that contain THC reported higher levels of relief.  It was also noted that the use of CBD occurred without the guidance of a physician and relevant clinic trials. People simply assume that using CBD is less harmful but more effective for pain relief.

One of the most ideal ways to gain relief from everyday aches and pains is through CBD roll-on, an ideal topical for people with an active lifestyle. The roll-on increases blood flow to the skin and reduces the stiffness of the joints. It is highly portable and can be applied even when you are on the move.

Jacques Bedard