Medical Cannabis Could Help End Painkiller Deaths

Sep 30, 2015 11:25 PM EDT | By Maria Leonila Masculino

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As deaths due to prescription painkiller overdose continue to arise, a new study says the use of cannabis could help end the dangerous chemical drug epidemic.

Cannabis has been proven to be the most effective natural way to relieve pain and increase quality of life without serious side effects. An online data published in the U.S. Library of Medicine by the Journal of Pain supports this fact as reported by chronic pain patients who used prescribed medical marijuana everyday for a year.

For the study, researchers from McGill University compared the effects on 216 chronic pain non-cancer patients who used medical cannabis and 215 patients who used prescription painkillers. Those who inhaled or vaporized the standardized daily dose of herbal cannabis (2.5 grams) reported no greater "serious adverse events" on cognitive skills and blood and heart functions than prescription painkiller users.

In fact, patients who used the herbal medicine reported that marijuana even helped reduce sense of pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression as compared to those who used chemical prescriptions.

Cannabis users, however, stated increased "non-serious adverse events" such as mild to moderate dizziness, coughing and paranoia.

The use of prescription pills is dangerous to long-term patients. According to Muirwood, opiate painkillers and depressants can cause liver and kidney damage, increasing tolerance, intense withdrawal symptoms and overdose.

The Center for Disease Control reports 46 people die from painkiller drug overdose in the United States every day.

Meanwhile, Cannabis was never linked to drug overdose hence the on-going request to legalize medical marijuana across the country. The herbal medicine remains limited and expensive until today since insurance companies could still not cover medications not approved by the FDA.

Marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical use and illegal in most states along with non-organic drugs such as heroin, MDMA, ecstasy and LSD. 

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