Today, Americans face an ever-growing opioid epidemic of unparalleled proportions, which takes the lives of 130 people per day. Addiction is caused by many factors and causes monumental suffering in the lives of those who are affected. Scientific studies show opiates are one of the hardest addictions to overcome, and has the highest risk for overdose of any drug today.
Although addiction is rampant throughout the U.S., some states were hit much harder than others. Florida was devastated by opioids and is still feeling the backlash from years of relaxed prescription pill legislation which fueled a long-lasting epidemic.
Opioid’s reach is far greater than just affecting those taking them; countless others feel the negative effects from family members and friends. Even the community as a whole suffers, and this can be seen in lower income areas where opioids, including heroin, are sold, and the residents are mostly addicts with no hope left for a better life.
What is Addiction?
There are a few different ways to think about addiction, and most people have experienced them to some degree. We are all human and can become addicted to things as simple as our daily routine. However, when it comes to opioids, it’s much different. Scientific research concludes that addiction is a neurological brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance abuse. An opioid addict’s complete focus is on getting more, and despite the obvious negative consequences, they continue to drive forward, disregarding logic, or even their own personal safety.
How Marijuana Works to Treat Addiction
Marijuana contains many useful components that are beneficial to someone who’s addicted to opioids. Made from over 400 different cannabinoids, the marijuana plant provides two that are especially useful called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabinoids (CBD).
These tiny molecules contain the same beneficial cannabinoids that naturally occur within the endocannabinoid system, which governs many functions in the human body.
Both THC and CBD interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors and throughout cells in the body, and help regulate systems to work more efficiently.
THC is Especially Important to Treat Opioid Addiction
THC causes instant relief from pain and anxiety by providing a euphoric effect, which uplifts the spirit and provides many useful benefits. THC is an important part of treating opioid addiction, especially during the first week of withdrawals, which is the number one reason for relapse. It also becomes the best way to maintain long-term sobriety because it helps reduce depression and gives addicts peace of mind, instead of the racing thoughts that cause anxiety and other debilitating symptoms.
CBD Can Help Addicts Maintain Sobriety Longer
CBD oil, on the other hand, will not cause any euphoric effects because it doesn’t contain any psychoactive components like THC does. But, it’s still quite useful in treating addiction and can become a staple for anyone looking to maintain a balanced biochemical synergy in the body and brain.
Cannabidiol studies done by Dr. Sanjay Gupta show evidence that CBD can help with opioid withdrawal symptoms and can also be used to treat symptoms of withdrawal and addiction for years, without negative side effects. The people who were addicted in his studies all showed positive results from using CBD; although it’s not a cure, it’s very helpful in dealing with symptoms.
What Are the Experts Saying?
Since 2017, board-certified doctors can recommend medical marijuana in Florida to patients suffering from many conditions, including addiction. Many of these doctors have created extensive cannabis-based treatments for opioid addiction. Since legalization took effect, there have been so many people who have successfully stopped using these addictive drugs, and found a new way to live through marijuana.
According to Premier Neurology & Wellness Center, the ability to use both THC and CBD to treat the debilitating symptoms from withdrawals allows patients the time to get through the withdrawals without relapsing. These symptoms can include pain, anxiety, depression, and even seizures in some extreme cases. We’ve seen that cannabidiol can treat these symptoms without intoxication, and the patients report the effects get better over time and regular dosing.
In 2018, CBD oil in Florida and across America was legalized under the Farm Hemp Bill. People can find premium quality products online or in stores selling it in their physical locations. However, for those who want THC, a certified physician must give a recommendation for the medical marijuana strains and dosages they believe will help break their patients’ addiction to opioids. Either way, cannabis based medications are helping treat opioid addiction in Florida, and across America.