Most people have experienced pain – although in varying degrees. In most cases, people experiencing pain either suffer from injuries or chronic diseases. Therefore, they are on prescription painkillers, which are typically opioid painkillers.
However, people suffering from chronic pain have few treatment options and end up living on life-long opioid prescriptions, which are medically hailed as the cure to acute pain.
Opioid painkillers are quite a relief to people suffering from chronic pain, but they are only effective for a short span of time. Prescription opioids are easily absorbed into the blood and transported to the brain via chemical transporters, which target brain cells.
Once the opioids come into contact with these cells, they bind to certain receptors to inhibit pain and trigger positive feelings.
Unfortunately, the relief and stimulation of positive feelings last only a few weeks since the brain adapts to the binding of receptors and lowers the effect of opioids.
Thus, the opioid painkillers become less medically significant in the blood due to the body’s tolerance to them. Consequently, the opioid prescriptions have to be used in higher dosage to impact pain relief.
Opioid side effects
Tolerance to opioid painkillers makes them unreliable for medical use and poses a risk of overdosing for patients. Although, all opioid painkillers have been tested for analgesia (pain relief), activities, aberrant behaviours and adverse effects, many users still experience negative side effects.
Typically, the drawbacks of opioid prescription include drowsiness, constipation and addiction, which happen mostly when the dosage is adjusted upwards to impact pain relief.
Marijuana as a painkiller
Marijuana is a sound alternative for chronic pain relief especially for persons suffering from chronic diseases. In fact, marijuana is safer than opioids since it poses no threat of an overdose and virtually no risk of addiction in short-term use. Primarily, marijuana is absorbed by the body and affects the brain cells the same way opioids do to relief pain.
Despite its less severe side effects and superior effectiveness in pain relief, marijuana is not yet a mainstream medical option.
On the other hand, opioid painkiller addictions have been growing increasingly fast and are widespread in the United States. Statistical reports indicate that 48 million people are affected wherein the highest number of persons affected by the pandemic is from the States in which medical marijuana is prohibited.
The states and countries in which legalization of marijuana for pain relief has been affected cite the dangers of opioid prescriptions. Medical reports and research publications clearly voice the cycle of addiction to death. In fact, most opioid prescriptions result in addiction, in which their continued use make withdrawal impossible leading to consequent over dosage and the risk of heart failure.
Benefits of Marijuana as a painkiller
Apart from the dangers of opioid prescriptions and their ineffectiveness, legalization of marijuana for pain relief is also warranted by its positive side effects, treating nausea and increased appetite especially for terminally ill patients.
In addition, the doses of marijuana required to relief pain are much lower than for opioid prescriptions even in the long-term use. Furthermore, marijuana ranks as the least addictive substance among, alcohol, caffeine and opioids. In fact, it has the slightest dependency complications and it is applicable in in increasing efficacy of opioids in the long-term without the need to increase dosage.