By Adrian Sheridan.
With an upcoming surgery in the back of my mind, I continue to think about what my doctor will prescribe for impending post-surgery pain. Since many legal hurdles for cannabis in DC, and especially in the surrounding areas, still exist, I must prepare myself for taking prescription pain-killers. This is unfortunate, because both anecdotal evidence and statistics prove that pain killers are a much riskier option to cannabis.
According to the CDC, 28,000 people died in 2014 due to opioid overdoes. Yet doctors continue to prescribe these medications for treatment. One could write an entire book about this topic alone, but the intention here is to focus on two key areas where responsible cannabis policy could greatly improve the lives of U.S. citizens who need it most.
I would be remiss if I did not bring up cannabis as a treatment for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). 31 percent of veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are diagnosed with PTSD, according to the National Institute for Health (NIH). Even back in 2012, there were medical findings that showed veterans who were prescribed opioids for non-cancer pain associated with their PTSD symptoms experienced adverse clinical outcomes with these treatments.
While some organizations, including the U.S. House of Representatives, have gotten the message that cannabis can be a good alternative to opioid pain medications for veterans. There need to be better laws in place that make cannabis a standard tool in PTSD treatment. Why send people to war and limit their options for care once they return home?
Cancer treatment is another place where doctors are quick to prescribe opioid pain medication, and federal standardized laws still do not exist for cannabis as treatment. Of course, much more progress has been made on this avenue across the U.S. at the state level, but to make cannabis the norm for cancer treatment, there is much more progress to be made. It's important that people who support legalization, especially in an election year, make their voices heard either through financial or other support for the organizations that fight for responsible marijuana policies.
Doctors will continue to prescribe opioid pain medications for as long as the law allows them. This is not to say that such treatments do not have their place. On the contrary, such treatments exist because some people find relief in their effects. However, when doctors have to consider using marijuana both as an alternative to, and a treatment for opioid addiction, one is clearly the bettery choice. When thinking about which one comes with less adverse effects, such as addiction and dependence, for all-encompassing treatment of patients across the board, cannabis is the clear choice.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Marijuana is definitely going mainstream, despite the fact that it's still "illegal", the regulatory enforcement forces are getting relaxed by minute everyday. I was crossing the Canadians borders back to the States the other day, and officer chuckled when he knew I have an Online Smoke Shop business and I called it 421Store (as soon as I don't have the herb itself on me), At some point during the interaction, I felt he almost gonna ask me for a joint.
Anyways, back to what we were talking about. Now, you can use marijuana recreationally in eight states. Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington — and the District of Columbia.
Other than recreationally use, there are 21 other states allow the possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Tolerance. When you start smoking marijuana and doze off or get paranoid after a couple of hits, your friends recommend you to "build up some tolerance." And you do. In several months (or years, if you do not dive into regular smoking right away) you feel it. You have to smoke more to get high. And you hardly ever get as high as you used to get. Damn you, tolerance.
It is still unclear how cannabis tolerance works in terms of neurobiology. A recently published study suggests that the symptoms we experience may be determined by change in our brain’s ability to release dopamine. The research only describes the reaction of heavy users, people who were treated as ‘dependent on cannabis’ after using marijuana daily for many years. As you probably know, tolerance can be a problem even for someone who recently started smoking regularly, and there is next to no research on this matter.
As part of our Product Review series, we would like to introduce you to one of the most popular herbal vaporizers on the market, Grenco Science's G-Pro Herbal Vaporizer. First Impressions