The opioid crisis is very real and continues to grip the United States, killing more than 100 people per day in 2016. Although Europe is much more regulated when it comes to prescribing opiates, it can be an issue in the future. Western Europe is actually starting to catch up to the United States for rates of opioid prescribing.
Strong opiates are tightly controlled in Europe, however, several EU countries allow over-the-counter sales of a milder pain medication: codeine. Although it is less dangerous than heroin, codeine is turned into morphine in the liver and can still be toxic in high doses.
Europe’s opioid problem has largely been restricted to heroin, although there are signs of prescription painkillers becoming a problem. Germany is the country that consumes the most opioids in Europe. It prescribes pills at about half the rate of the US.
Cannabis Can Help
According to a recent study in Drug and Alcohol Review, cannabis is a viable option for drug addiction treatment. In a survey of 473 medical cannabis patients, researchers found that 80.3% use cannabis to replace prescription drugs. Cannabis was also a common replacement for alcohol and other illicit substances, especially among patients under 40 years old.
5 Prescription Medicines That Can Be Replaced With CBD Oil
Prescription painkillers like Hydrocodone, Tramadol and Oxycodone are among the most widely used pain medications in the United States. Studies show that CBD can can be used effectively to treat pain without the risk of serious side effects.
Research has proven that CBD oil has been very helpful in treating chronic pain as it attaches to certain receptors in the body and reduces the pain by producing their effect on that particular part of the body.
2. Anti-Anxiety Medication
Anxiety disorders make completing daily tasks difficult for many people. For this reason, it’s easy for anxiety sufferers to turn to prescription drugs to find relief. Prescription medications like Xanax and Valium pose dangerous side effects including cognitive decline, suicidal thoughts, addiction and even death. CBD can effectively treat anxiety disorders for many users.
Though some may experience an increase in anxiety after consuming marijuana (especially new users who consume strains high in THC), many others have noted a significant decrease in anxious tendencies by using CBD.
In place of THC, the hemp plant has more concentration of cannabinoids that are very helpful to the functioning of the body. Studies have shown that CBD present in the hemp plant is capable of healing many conditions including anxiety.
Medications such as Ritalin and Adderall are usually used in managing ADD/ADHD. However, these medications present various side effects like insomnia, nervousness, high blood pressure, headache and upset stomach. These side effects can be severe and affect a sufferer’s life.
CBD, when used to relieve the symptoms of ADHD, causes minimal side effects. Compared to the conventional drugs used for the attention deficit condition CBD appears safer. Although CBD oil is derived from the Cannabis plant, it doesn’t have the psychoactive effects.
Endocannabinoids are chemicals naturally produced in the body that bind with the same receptors as phytocannabinoids found in cannabis. Research shows that chronic stress can cause a reduction in endocannabinoid production which may contribute to excessive feelings of sadness and depression.
Interestingly, scientists have discovered that mood can be stabilized and depression symptoms eased by supplementing cannabinoids through cannabis therapy, especially for non-heavy users.
Evidence from some clinical studies shows that CBD can stimulate the growth of hippocampus, thereby triggering the creation of new neurons. This condition, also known as neurogenesis, can be a powerful method to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
5. Sleep Aids
Cannabis is often used as a sleep aid and for good reason: it helps people fall and stay asleep longer without causing any groggy feelings later. Best of all, using cannabis for sleep can help protect the body from the sometimes dangerous side effects of other sleep aids, including headaches, defecation problems, stomach pain, daytime drowsiness, uncontrollable shaking and the unfortunate risk of overdose. Remember if you want to use cannabis for sleep, avoid strains high in THC and focus more on strains high in CBD.