CBD vs Opioids: The Pain Relief Showdown!

Opioid painkillers have been a part of medical practice for a very long time. They are used for a variety of injuries and conditions that cause pain since they have strong, numbing effects, making them very useful in certain situations.

However, their use has become indiscriminate and unnecessary in a lot of cases, and illicit production and sales have risen significantly, which has caused an epidemic of opioid addiction and several cases of overdose which result in death.

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What are opioid painkillers?

Opioids, or narcotics, are a type of drug that produces euphoria, drowsiness, confusion, slow breathing and pain relief. And, because they have a high potential for abuse, they are controlled substances.

They are made from components found in the opium poppy plant, or developed in labs, like fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid.  

For decades, doctors have prescribed opioids like oxycodone or morphine to patients who suffer from strong chronic or acute pain for different reasons: from injuries, to chronic illnesses.

Though these opioids initially do their job and reduce or eliminate pain, they have terrible effects when they are taken long term, as they mostly are nowadays. They create strong dependence, making it very difficult, or even impossible for the patients to stop taking them. But the most serious issue with these painkillers is that they cause an astounding amount of deaths in the United States, and the rest of the world, due to overdose.

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CBD and Opioids

Lately, CBD has proven to be a potential substitute for painkillers as well as helpful in opioid addiction treatments, since it provides pain relief, lifts the mood and lowers anxiety, which is so prevalent in withdrawal syndrome.

Prescription Opioids vs Illegal Opioids

There really is not much difference between opioids prescribed by a doctor and the illegal ones we often hear about in the news. What sets them apart is that legal ones are prescribed and controlled, while illegal ones are sold in the illegal market and completely uncontrolled, which does make it easier for people to overdose due to the uncertainty of what exactly is in them and how strong it is.

The first opium derivative to become popularized for pain management was morphine, which is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain. Morphine is an isolated compound found in opium poppy which is 10 times stronger than processed opium poppy on its own, which was used for pain relief in the past. And, though it was initially foreseen to have several medicinal benefits, it soon proved to be extremely addictive and dangerous if taken regularly.

Morphine isn’t the only commonly prescribed opioid. We might also know heroin, for example, as a well known narcotic that is illegally sold. However, it is commonly prescribed by doctors for pain management, under the name of diamorphine. Though the name is different, it is exactly the same chemical, and it has the same effects. So, just like a heroin overdose can cause death, so can a diamorphine overdose in a patient who has been prescribed the medication.  

Some of the most common prescription opioids are:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Vicodin  

These are all controlled substances, and are very commonly used and abused by patients or by those who have a narcotic addiction. They might work well for temporary pain relief when a person has been severely injured or has had surgery, but are not recommended for long term use, since they will inevitably cause dependence and, subsequently, are very likely to be abused; or, in the best of cases, they will cause very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

It is estimated that, in 2017, more than 72.000 people died of opioid overdose in the united states. A shocking number, isn’t it? And Fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine, and 50 times more potent than heroin, seems to be responsible for the steady rise in this number. And, just like most opioids, it is marketed both illegally and under medical prescription.

Those at Risk…

In this opioid epidemic, the illegal buyers are not the only ones at risk. Even for patients to whom they have been prescribed, opioid painkillers are dangerous. If a person is feeling pain and, out of desperation, takes more than the prescribed amount, an overdose is highly probable.

The drowsiness caused by them can affect some people more than others. So even if some are perfectly able to go about their day after taking morphine, some might be at risk of fainting, falling over, or tripping. They can be seriously injured or even die for reasons other than overdose.

Because most of these are readily prescribed by doctors, addicts have taken to faking injury and severe pain in order to receive opioids in urgent care or the E.R. And, since it’s not necessarily easy to tell who’s faking and who’s not, many get away with it, which calls us to look into other non opioid pain relief for doctors to use in their practice in order to reduce the likelihood of this happening.  

CBD vs Opioids: What are the Effects?

Though they both provide pain relief, CBD and opioids work in completely different ways.

First of all, opioid painkillers are highly processed or synthetic, which means that they are no longer the poppy plant they once were; they are not at all natural, which causes them to have stronger, more dangerous effects than CBD, which is not nearly as processed and is completely natural.

Some of the differences in effects are:

Opioids

  • Cause drowsiness and confusion
  • Slowed breathing and hypoxia (not enough oxygen reaching the brain)
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Euphoria
  • Death (caused by overdose)
  • Tolerance, which causes the person to need higher doses or a stronger opioid

CBD

  • Doesn’t cause drowsiness or confusion; it has even been shown to improve concentration and alertness during the day
  • Doesn’t affect oxygenation, but might reduce blood pressure during stressful events
  • Is often used to reduce nausea
  • Doesn’t cause constipation, but in extremely high doses, it might cause diarrhea in some people
  • Improves mood, but doesn’t produce euphoria
  • Has never been observed to cause death, even in extremely high doses
  • Hasn’t been shown to produce tolerance

It is important to point out that this list of effects is for CBD on its own, it doesn’t take into account the effects that supplements that include THC might have.

Opioids, regardless of them being illegally taken or prescribed, shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women, since they could cause miscarriage, low birth weight, and even cause the baby to develop dependence and withdrawal symptoms after birth.

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Sometimes, people who use marijuana consistently (daily) in high doses, begin experiencing something called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which causes vomiting and severe stomach cramping, which are only relieved by hot baths. In these cases, the only solution is to stop consuming marijuana.

This syndrome is believed to be caused only by THC, since it hasn’t been observed to occur in people who use high doses of CBD on a daily basis (like children and adults who suffer from epilepsy), only by frequent high THC marijuana consumption.

Is CBD addictive?

This is an interesting question. CBD on its own has not shown any potential for dependence. However, when it comes to THC, or marijuana, about 9% of people who use it regularly develop something called “marijuana use disorder”, which is not necessarily an addiction, but a form of dependence.

Since THC produces psychoactive effects, it is likely the reason marijuana causes dependence, particularly if the habit of consumption begins before the age of 21, when the brain is more susceptible to alterations. However, this dependence and its withdrawal symptoms are usually very mild and go away fast, compared to those of strong opioids like morphine, oxycodone, and others.

CBD derivatives have not been shown to cause dependence, but since they have mood lifting effects, people might report not feeling as uplifted when not using them. In this sense, CBD can be compared to antidepressants: used on their own, they might keep you afloat, but stopping them would cause you to sink back into depression. However, if they are taken along with a disciplined therapeutic and growth process, there might come a time when you can decide, along with your doctor, to stop taking them without issues.

Facts!

Is cannabis an opioid?

No! Cannabis is not an opioid. Opioids are drugs (legal or illegal) derived from the opium poppy plant, or made in a lab to enhance some of its properties (like fentanyl). Cannabis is a different plant entirely.

Are there CBD withdrawal symptoms?

CBD has not been observed to produce withdrawal symptoms when suspended, but changes in dosage might cause different effects, and some people might miss the benefits and take a little while to adapt to not taking it.

CBD helps with withdrawal symptoms…

When you’re wondering how to get off opioids, it is important to work with a healthcare professional. Effects can be varied and hard to deal with, so you’ll need support, and your doctor might recognize CBD as a valid option to facilitate the process. It all depends on the type of opioid you’ve developed dependence to, the dosage you’re currently taking, and the way your body reacts to it. It’s different for everyone.

However, CBD has shown to be helpful for opioid withdrawal in most cases, since it reduces anxiety, improves mood, enhances sleep, and reduces pain, which are all issues that are encountered during the process.

CBD vs Opioids What’s the best option?

Though many would prefer certain opioids, like morphine, since they lack the social stigma that cannabis comes tied to, the truth is that:

  • CBD is not addictive, while opioids are
  • You cannot die of CBD overdose, but you can easily die of opioid overdose
  • CBD hasn’t been shown to produce withdrawal symptoms, while opioids produce plenty, which disable the person suffering from them
  • CBD can be used long term without causing the patient to develop resistance to its effects, while opioids do, and eventually results in the need for a stronger version

Clearly, CBD is the least harmful option of the two. And, though it might not have the numbing effects that opioids are capable of producing, if CBD turned into a routine, along with other small life changes, like exercise, meditation and healthy eating, the effects are likely going to be even better and less risky than those of opioids, at least when it comes to long term use.

When it comes to short term use, like after an accident, or surgery, opioids do have their benefits and, as long as they are carefully administered can be a good option, but should not become a habit, or they will surely generate life threatening addiction.

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10 CBD Clinical Trials You Might not Know About

…and their importance in today’s health needs!

For the first time ever, we can say that several medical trials are being carried out to determine the benefits of CBD, and even THC, for humans.

A few years ago, these components were only considered for terminal patients, but now their many benefits are being explored for their possible applications in treatments of different conditions, both for children and adults. Furthermore, they are no longer being looked into as a last resort for terminal patients, but as a first option for conditions like epilepsy, autism, asthma, and even for cancer itself, not just for its symptoms.

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Some CBD clinical trials and studies of immense importance that have been or are being carried out, are:

1. CBD for Epilepsy

It’s no wonder, epilepsy is getting the most attention when it comes to CBD clinical trials, since, over the past decade, there have been countless cases of epilepsy patients who have benefited from CBD oil.

This study, carried out by the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the UM School of Pharmacy, aims to determine the benefits and safety of a CBD based medication for children with severe forms of epilepsy. And, though this trial still treats CBD as a last resort, qualifying it as “compassionate care”, it will be an amazing contribution for the medical community.

Ole Miss has an interesting history with cannabis. It was the first authorized cannabis grower for scientific research purposes, though the FDA recently opened up the possibility for other growers to become authorized. Since this is still a controlled substance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) oversees the production and gives out the authorizations every year.

Why did CBD Clinical trials for epilepsy take so long to occur?

In most cases of severe epileptic disorders, the children who suffer from it usually don’t survive long enough to become adults. The goal with treatment is usually to prolong life expectancy and to maintain life skills (speaking, walking, eating) for as long as possible.

Though cannabis and CBD in particular have been shown to do wonders for these children, the social stigma and legal implications of giving it to minors have put a lot of pressure on parents and health professionals, and limit their options.

2. CBD for Asthma

Asthma is an allergic, inflammatory condition that affects the airways, and more than 26 million people in the U.S. suffer from it.

Together with the Hebrew University, an Israeli company is developing a cannabis based treatment for asthma that will benefit both children and adults. The researchers decided to look into CBD due to its well known anti inflammatory properties, though it might also have an effect on the allergic reaction itself, via the immune system. The idea with this research is to develop a supplement in tablet or inhaler form, that will be accessible to everyone.

Cases of severe asthma have been labeled as an “unmet clinical needs” by the World Health Organization, since it is usually treated with corticosteroids, which some people are resistant to, and from 1990 to 2015, the number of asthma cases doubled, which generates the need for better treatments, preferably natural ones that don’t produce harmful side effects. This is where CBD comes in.

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3. Movement Disorders

At the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego, a CBD trial will be carried out this year to establish possible beneficial effects of cannabis in a common movement disorder known as essential tremor (ET), which is characterized by involuntary shaking. However, if the results are positive, it is likely to have beneficial effects on all disorders of this type. This trial will focus on CBD and will include a low dose of THC.

Movement disorders, like essential tremor, Parkinson’s, dystonia, among others, affect around 42 million people in the U.S. They alter daily life and are extremely likely to cause anxiety and depression; so CBD shows promise as a treatment for people who suffer from this type of conditions, though so far research has been leaning particularly towards Parkinson’s, since it is so debilitating.

4. CBD for MS

Studies show that CBD reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, such as fatigue, pain, inflammation, depression and spasticity, while increasing mobility.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the protective layers of the nerve fibers and spinal cord, causing failures in the nervous system’s communication to the brain. It can cause numbness, electric shock sensation, and mobility issues, among several other symptoms that significantly affect life and cause disability.

A trial was conducted in 2005, which demonstrated cannabis’ effectiveness at treating pain in patients suffering from MS, and a specific trial was carried out in order to compare the efficacy of two cannabis based medications for MS.

The positive results in these trials are probably due to the role of the endocannabinoid system in multiple sclerosis, which has been established by scientific studies.

5. Endometriosis

CBD is being looked into for its possible ability to treat endometriosis, an illness that affects about 180 million women in the world, and occurs when the lining of the uterus grows in other places around the pelvis, ovaries, or Fallopian tubes.

A new lab in Israel, set up by Israeli doctors with the purpose of carrying out medical research about cannabis’ medicinal properties, will begin an intensive study about the way CBD can benefit patients who suffer from endometriosis, since CBD has been proven to regulate the immune system, even preventing the spread of the disease.

The doctors commented on the current information there is about this particular illness, and stated that a lot more research is needed in order to understand how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system relate to it.

6. CBD Clinical trials for Anorexia

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research of UCSD has been pushing medical research forward, which is good news for everyone whose health could be benefited by CBD.

They will soo launch a trial that specifically looks into the effect of CBD in Adult Anorexia Nervosa, for which there is currently no proven medical treatment.

Cannabis has been observed to aid with anorexia for its appetite enhancing properties, and most of the effect has been attributed to THC. However, CBD shows significant promise in this area, since it not only targets appetite, but also helps reduce anxiety and depression, which are the core of eating disorders.

7. CBD for Early Psychosis

Though cannabis is usually not recommended for schizophrenia or psychosis in general, CBD on its own has shown anti psychotic properties.

A trial will begin in order to determine if the component can reduce symptoms and improve cognitive function in patients with early psychosis. It will also look into the biological response to stress, and the effect of CBD in eating behavior, which is altered by anti psychotic medication.

8. CBD Clinical Trials for Anxiety

An extensive clinical study that was carried out in 2015, evaluated CBD’s anxiolytic properties and its effect on anxiety related disorders. It was determined that CBD shows a broad range of potential relevant to the treatment of different symptoms of anxiety disorders, and has the advantage of not producing detrimental side effects even at higher doses.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, and around 40 million adults are affected by them. However, less than 40% of sufferers are receiving treatment for them.

In the past decades, CBD’s beneficial effects in neuropsychiatric disorders has been observed by the medical community through anecdotal evidence and scientific studies, which brings a lot of hope for the development of a successful medical cannabis-based treatment for these conditions.

9. CBD Clinical Trials for Chronic Pain

CBD has shown great promise for pain management, but specifically for chronic pain, it could even be considered a breakthrough.

This current study is examining the effects of both CBD and THC on chronic pain in adults (18-50 yrs.) and it’s related symptoms, and aims to compare the effects of different doses of THC/CBD, in order to determine the best combination. Hopefully this will shed more light on the individual and combined effects of these two cannabinoids.

Chronic pain sufferers develop depression, anxiety and are constantly troubled by inflammation. CBD has the potential of treating all of these issues with little to no side effects, which would allow chronic pain sufferers to have more active lives and care for themselves a lot better.

10. CBD Clinical Trials for Fibromyalgia

A medical study in 2016, suggested that clinical endocannabinoid deficiency could be the cause of chronic pain disorders and other illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, which shows the most evidence of having relation to this issue.

Significantly lower levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide in cerebrospinal fluid were seen in patients suffering from chronic pain. However, several CBD trials for fibromyalgia are still needed in order to determine its benefits, which could be several, since a common treatment for the condition are antidepressants, and it is currently known that CBD and antidepressants share some of their benefits, though work in a completely different way.

This trial showed that most patients experienced reduction of pain and stiffness in as little as two hours after they consumed the cannabis solution. And the beneficial effects were much higher in the ones taking the real cannabis than the control group.

The results concluded that cannabis is much more effective than the different prescription meds currently being indicated for fibromyalgia. Though it’s clear that it requires standardization and regulation for it to be as effective as possible.

Prospects for the future…

Thanks to all these medical studies and trials, we’re finally beginning to learn about the different benefits and possibilities that CBD and cannabis have when it comes to our health and well-being.

The world is currently dealing with an increasing number of medical conditions that are no longer deadly, but that affect quality of life significantly, since they reduce people’s ability to care for themselves and lead a full life.

CBD is showing a lot of promise in medical terms for the near future, not just for adults, but for children who suffer from debilitating conditions. So we’ll see…  

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10 Things You Must Know about CBD

Cannabis has at least 113 different cannabinoids – but the only one on the tip of everyone’s tongue is CBD. This beneficial compound can be derived from hemp and made into an oil. With the development of CBD oil, many people started to discover its amazing mental and physical health benefits. To this day, organic CBD oil continues to amaze those who are using it – or paying attention to the all the newly discovered benefits. You can decide if CBD pure oil from hemp is right for you by learning the 10 following facts about this awesome compound:

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1. CBD is a Non-Psychoactive Cannabis Compound

CBD oil comes from the leaves and stalks of the cannabis plant. The type of plant used is usually hemp, as it is not as strictly regulated as marijuana. Despite its origins, CBD does not have any of the psychoactive properties found in THC. Instead, this compound promotes calm, relaxed feelings without the high. When ingested, the CBD compounds bind to the receptors that control the chemicals in the brain. Its impact on brain activity helps CBD control your mental and physical health symptoms

2.  Studies Have Proven the Pain Management Benefits of CBD Oil

Through many different studies, scientific research has shown us how well organic CBD oil controls pain. The positive results from these studies have pushed the FDA to approve CBD treatments for certain health conditions. CBD medications are used to control pain caused by serious health conditions. These conditions include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. Organic CBD oil can provide the same benefits without all the extra processing.

3.  CBD Oil Can Help Manage Mental Health Conditions

Researchers have found that CBD can help deal with mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.  With a small dose of CBD, participants with social anxiety were much less anxious than normal during public speaking. With CBD, depression symptoms decrease as well. This is especially true for the physical ways anxiety and depression manifest. Symptoms like sleeping difficulties and nausea are reduced or eliminated with a single dose of pure CBD oil.

4.  CBD Oil Helps Prevent Relapse

CBD oil promises to change the addiction recovery field by reducing the risk of drug and alcohol relapse. In a recent study, participants only received one dose of CBD every day for a week. Despite the low dose and short duration, they were able to resist relapse for five full months afterward. A reduction in addict-like characteristics were virtually eliminated as well. The lasting effects of organic CBD oil helped these people stop having strong cravings for drugs and alcohol. As a result, they were able to better focus on recovery.

5.  Negative Side Effects of CBD Oil are Minimal

As with any substance you put in your body, CBD pure oil does have minimal side effects to consider. Although they are minor, common CBD side effects include dry mouth, dizziness and drowsiness. You will need to weigh the pros and cons to determine if the benefits of CBD oil outweigh the risks. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should never consume CBD oil. The substance has the chance of passing through the mother’s body to the child.

6.  CBD Oil is Not Likely to Cause a Positive Drug Test

Modern drug tests are only looking for substances that have mind-altering effects. When it comes to cannabis, drug tests are only looking for THC, not CBD. Organic CBD oil from hemp only contains a max of 0.3 percent THC, which is likely undetectable on these tests. While taking organic CBD oil, you likely do not need to worry about failing any drug tests.

7.  You Cannot Actually Get High from CBD Oil

Although it is a compound of cannabis, CBD cannot get you high. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high that can disrupt your thought patterns. Instead, the CBD pure oil helps the body by controlling pain, relieving nausea and more.  When taking the right dose of organic CBD oil, you will never feel high or any other mental impairments that could derail your day.

8.  There are No Addictive Properties in CBD Oil

CBD oil does not have any addictive properties to consider. This substance has been cleared of causing addiction by a World Health Organization study. As a result, there is little to no risk of creating dependence or abuse, even after ingesting CBD daily for a long period of time. CBD does not cause cravings nor withdrawal symptoms, if stopped.

9.  CBD Oil Has Nothing to Do with Weed

Although they both come from the cannabis family of plants, marijuana and hemp have very little in common. As a result, pure CBD oil does not have anything to do with marijuana. Instead, organic CBD oil comes from the hemp plant to harness the power of this substance without loading up on the THC content. Weed and CBD remain worlds apart when using hemp for the extraction process.

10. Organic CBD Oil from Hemp Provides the Best Results

When organic CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant, it offers the greatest benefits and poses a minimal risk of side effects. The organic oil goes through the extraction process to isolate the CBD, which helps to purify the oil mixture. The lack of THC in CBD pure oil keeps this substance legal to own and consume in many, but not all, areas. New laws on the books promise to put the federal legalization of hemp products, including CBD oil, at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Buy CBD Pure Oil Today to Start Your Journey Toward Complete Wellness

Organic CBD oil offers therapeutic benefits for mental and physical health conditions without causing you to feel high or out of it. Make sure you always have CBD oil in your medicine cabinet by acquiring some from your favorite online retailer. Whether you suffer a bout of anxiety or a spike in your pain levels, organic CBD oil from hemp can give you the support you need to get through it all.

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