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According to data compiled by the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from some type of chronic pain daily.
Of these, the most common conditions involve experiencing unrelenting pain in the lower back or neck, intense headaches and migraines, and even facial pain. These types of issues can negatively impact the sufferer’s lives by decreasing their mental health, limiting their physical activities, and more.
Thus, in an attempt to ease the patient’s pain and improve their quality of life, many doctors prescribe opioids. So many doctors, in fact, that in the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts & Figures, it’s revealed that, in a one-year timeframe, there are enough opioid prescriptions written “to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.”
Realistically, this would probably be okay if opioids worked and no one was hurt in the process. Sadly, the numbers tell us otherwise.
The growing opioid problem
Between the years 1999 and 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 183,000 Americans died from prescription opioid overdose, with 15,000 losing their lives in 2015 alone. Further, more than 1,000 people are treated daily in our nation’s emergency rooms for not taking their opioid prescriptions “as directed.”
Some may argue that a majority of opioid users don’t fall into either of these categories because they use their prescriptions wisely, just like the doctor ordered. However, the statistics say differently. Case in point: the CDC also reports that one in four people prescribed an opiate (which is about 2 million people in total) eventually face addiction to this category of drugs.
It is numbers like these that help to underscore the true extent of the opioid problem, as well as the urgent need to find a solution. Preferably, this solution would be non-addictive and less destructive to the body. Natural, yet effective. One option that falls into this definition is CBD and/or hemp oil.
A natural, yet effective solution with CBD and hemp oil
Leafly, a top cannabis information website, explains that CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) is one of the cannabinoids found in the hemp oil derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Additionally, it has two major benefits in that it is “both non-psychoactive and displays a broad range of potential medical applications.” In other words, CBD doesn’t create the same type of “high” typically associated with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, while offering therapeutic effects at the same time. One of these therapeutic effects is pain relief.
Research has confirmed over and over again how beneficial CBD is when it comes to pain relief. For instance, one article published in The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research referenced five different systematic reviews, noting that “the conclusions across all of the reviews were largely consistent in suggesting that cannabinoids demonstrate a modest effect on pain.”
CBD has been deemed safe too, even by government officials. In a 2015 report, Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, presented to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control on the subject of CBD. During this presentation, Director Volkow stated that “a review of 25 studies on the safety and efficacy of CBD did not identify significant side effects across a wide range of dosages, including acute or chronic dose regimens, using various modes of administration.” In short, though further testing was recommended, no study found a major safety issue with regard to CBD.
Supplements made from phytocannibinoids-rich hemp oil can provide a unique way to support the body’s healthy regulation of the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic effects such as pain relief. However, since phytocannibinoids are insoluble in water, their absorption can be limited in the body. Studies show that the VESIsorb® patented delivery system provides significant improvements in absorption and bioavailability of phytocannibinoids.
Perhaps the most promising effect of CBD is that, unlike prescription opiates, it’s not addictive. In fact, one systematic review noted that CBD is actually useful for helping individuals combat addictive behaviors, specifically those associated with opioids, cocaine, and other psychostimulants. Another study, this one published in Addictive Behaviors, even found CBD helpful to individuals who were trying to quit smoking, and that’s one of the top 10 addictions, its dependence similar to heroin even though it is “statistically far more deadly.”
So if opioid addiction is the problem, CBD and hemp oil is definitely part of a safe, yet effective solution. Not only does it help ease a patient’s chronic pain, but it does so in a way that doesn’t put them at risk of overdose or of other, serious medical conditions. That’s a major change from the direction opioid addictions seems to be headed today, which would be a change for the better.
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