CBD, the anti-opioid

By now, you’ve probably heard that an opioid epidemic is growing in this country and is being called a crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.” The CDC goes on to say, “Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.” Deaths from opioids during that same time have also quadrupled; the CDC cites 91 deaths daily from opioid overdose. (Other sources say as many as 145 a day, but let’s just run with the CDC for now.)

But, there could be a better way to help people who are in pain either relieve the pain or stop taking opioids: CBD.

In one instance, a 72-year-old woman, who had been prescribed opioid patches for fibromyalgia a decade ago, used CBD to help kick the habit when nothing else would help. A combination of tincture made from high-potency CBD and olive oil along with juicing the leaves and drinking the concoction was the ticket to weaning herself from the patches. Prior attempts to stop using the patches brought on horrible withdrawal, and she quit trying. Now, as she weans herself from the drug, she has noticed the fibromyalgia symptoms also have waned. Win-win, right?

But, that’s just anecdotal evidence for one person. In 2014, however, a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that states with medical marijuana laws saw nearly 25 percent fewer deaths from opioid overdose than states that didn’t have the laws. Further studies show that CBD is showing signs of stealing the show when it comes to dealing with addiction. Small studies indicate that giving addicts CBD in place of opioids diminishes cravings and anxiety brought on by drug associated cues.

At the same time, Insys, maker of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, donated a half million dollars to keep CBD and marijuana illegal in Arizona. Wonder why. But, facts is facts, and CBD has the potential to not only treat addiction, but ease chronic pain without the fatal side effects of opioids and synthetic opioids. Meanwhile, Insys is also funding a number of CBD trials for different conditions, including pain therapy. So clearly, CBD is a threat to pharmaceutical companies. Seems a bit ironic, doesn’t it? Why is our current administration holding so firmly to the idea that marijuana and CBD are Schedule 1 narcotics and need to be criminalized? (That was a rhetorical question.)