Marijuana and its components continue to prove medical benefits from day-to-day. For decades, it has been a favorite subject of debate and in-depth research. Along with this, various pharmaceutical formulations for THC are released, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved.
But, have you ever imagined what it would look like for the cannabis Industry once medical marijuana proves its positive effects on the opioid addiction crisis?
Medical Marijuana: A Possible Solution to the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic is popularly known as the opioid crisis. This has been a hot issue in the media. But, the majority don’t even have a bit of an idea about it.
This opioid epidemic refers to the increasing number of deaths and hospitalizations caused by opioids. These include analogs, prescriptions, and illicit drugs. In 2016, statistics have recorded over 40,000 cases a year (http://cnw.fm/RX7Rt), which is equivalent to 115 a day. With this growing number, drug overdose now tops up as the leading cause of accidental deaths in the USA. The epidemic started to be notorious around 2010, but the factors began to crop up several years earlier.
But the real question here is, “Is marijuana the answer to this global epidemic?”
According to the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (http://cnw.fm/2SEr6), there is not enough evidence that marijuana deters people from opioid addiction. However, many people are holding on to the statement that medical marijuana can be part of the solution.
A study from AmericanMarijuana has revealed some significant facts based on the 19 states where medical marijuana is legal:
- Out of 19 states, 15 have shown a fall in opioid prescribing rate one year after the legalization of medical marijuana.
- Ohio had the highest fall of opioid prescribing rates among the 19 states – from 82.7 down to 63.5
NCBI states that the legalization of marijuana for medical use was associated with the 7% reduction in opioid overdose death cases (http://cnw.fm/YGQp4) in Colorado and 6% in opioid prescriptions.
Harvard Medical School also insists that opioid prescriptions will fall by 2.21 million daily doses per year (http://cnw.fm/0FcpG) upon the effectivity of medical marijuana laws. These significant cutbacks are predominantly notable for Vicodin (hydrocodone) and morphine prescriptions.
From this data, there’s still hope in medical marijuana to be a part of the solution to resolve opioid addiction.
Cannabis Industry: Under the Spotlight for the Opioid Crisis
Medical Marijuana had come a long way before it finally showed its positive effects in treating severe health conditions. However, there is still an unending discussion on which of its components is highly beneficial for the medical industry.
If researchers continue to confirm positive feedback about the effects of Marijuana on the opioid epidemic, then there is no doubt that the whole cannabis industry will benefit a lot (http://cnw.fm/3tlVq). Business innovations and profits have a big probability of going up.
The new cases of opioid addiction can be a triggering factor for manufacturers and suppliers to increase their production. Thus, we can expect increased sales, popularity, and exposure. The cannabis industry can then surpass the sales of big pharmaceutical companies who are making billions from opioids.
There is a more active opposition from the pharma industry according to Amanda Reiman, manager of marijuana law and policy at the Drug Policy Alliance. The research she conducted reveals that more and more patients are substituting cannabis for pharmaceuticals. And it is moving at a very high rate.
Opioid overdose cases have dropped roughly by 25% in states where marijuana is legalized. This data is in comparison with states that have prohibited sales of medical marijuana. This rapid decrease in opioid cases is one of the main reasons why big pharmacies are making their way to halt the legalization of this drug. They can lose about $4B a year if laws are finally approved worldwide. In fact, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent nearly $19M in 2015 to lobby it.
Apart from that, the legalization of medical marijuana might change other people’s views about this drug. We can finally break the stigma that marijuana is only used for recreational purposes. If positive results continue to show up, then there is a huge possibility for all of us to embrace the truth that marijuana is beneficial in treating various health conditions.
In the nearest future, after laws are taken into effect, medical marijuana can be a big threat to other industries that offer treatments and medications to opioid addiction.
Many marijuana-based medications have been clinically approved for use – while others are still under trial. With this progress, a new ray of light is shining among opioid crisis victims. This means that there is still a big chance for this epidemic to end.
Given the time and effort exerted for the research, it will be no surprise if one day, we are finally able to solve all the issues regarding this opioid epidemic. But for now, let us all hope for an immediate result in the tests taken to prove the effectiveness of medical marijuana for this serious condition. Plus, it is crucial to keep our minds open for such treatments.
– This article was provided by Dwight K. Blake, Editor in Chief of AmericanMarijuana.org
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