As the opioid epidemic rages on, those professing to seek “solutions” are willfully ignoring one of the most promising treatments – medical cannabis. When the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) was being debated in 2016, amendments to study medical cannabis were stripped out.
This happened despite studies showing that medical cannabis eases neuropathic pain, and the government’s own National Institutes of Health stating, “Medical marijuana products may have a role in reducing the use of opioids needed to control pain.”
There were also studies showing that deaths from opioids plummet in states with legal cannabis, and that 80 percent of cannabis users give up prescription pills. A Feb. 2017 study confirmed that opioid dependence and overdoses dropped significantly in medical cannabis states.
In January 2017, the National Academies of Science published an exhaustive review of the scientific literature and found that one of the most promising areas in medical cannabis is for the treatment of chronic pain.
But all of this falls on deaf ears to those in the pockets of Big Pharma, which is largely to blame for getting America hooked on opioids, as described in a Harvard analysis.
Now, a new experimental study has shown exactly how cannabis works to treat opioid addiction – by actually blocking the opioid reward in the brain.
“This study sought to determine whether the cannabis constituent cannabidiol attenuates the development of morphine reward in the conditioned place preference paradigm. Separate groups of mice received either saline or morphine in combination with one of four doses of cannabidiol using three sets of drug/no-drug conditioning trials. After drug-place conditioning, morphine mice displayed robust place preference that was attenuated by 10 mg/kg cannabidiol. Further, when administered alone, this dose of cannabidiol was void of rewarding and aversive properties. The finding that cannabidiol blocks opioid reward suggests that this compound may be useful in addiction treatment settings.”
The use of cannabidiol (CBD), one of two major active ingredients in cannabis, is even more promising for legalization effiorts because it does not produce the high that THC does. So prohibitionists who demonize cannabis’ intoxicating effect have no ammo when it comes to CBD. CBD can even be extracted from hemp, which is grown for its fiber used in thousands of manufacturing applications.
Because it can’t get anyone high, CBD extracts are even being permitted for medical use in staunchly prohibitionist states such as Oklahoma and Utah, to treat children with intractable epilepsy.
States have been reluctant to approve opioid addiction as a valid condition for prescribing medical cannabis. Big Pharma, having already secured their grip on federal government, has undoubtedly been working over state governments to prevent cannabis from threatening their profits. They had a measure of success in Arizona, which failed vote for legalization after pharma companies donated heavily to anti-pot propaganda campaigns.
The new study showing how CBD blocks the opioid reward will certainly prompt more research. This, coupled with statistical evidence from medical cannabis states, should finally prove fatal to the irrationality of blocking cannabis for opioid addiction treatment.
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Contributed by Justin Gardner of thefreethoughtproject.com.
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