Most everyone is aware of the opioid crisis that has a stranglehold on our nation. Opioids are substances that work on the nervous system in the body or specific receptors in the brain to reduce the intensity of pain. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than three out of five drug overdose deaths involve an opioid. Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have increased by more than five times since 1999, and overdoses involving opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016. 40% of those deaths were from prescription opioids. In recent headlines, iconic rock star Tom Petty was among those who tragically lost their life to an accidental overdose of pain medications.
Besides pharmaceutical drugs like opioids, excessive use of over-the-counter drugs comes with its own set of potential health problems. Heavy use of acetaminophen is associated with kidney disease and bleeding in the digestive tract, as a paper in the Annals of Rheumatic Medicine reports. Prolonged or heavy use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) has well documented evidence of also causing kidney problems or stomach ulcers and bleeding.
As consumers become more aware of the dangers associated with prescription and OTC pain medications, many are seeking natural alternatives to treat their pain. Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become a front runner natural alternative to these drugs. At our bodywork clinic in Santa Cruz, CA, we have heard countless stories from our clients about choosing to treat their pain with a combination of therapeutic massage and CBD, both in oral and topical applications. Our clients are not alone – a new survey from Brightfield Group and HelloMD covered 2,400 of HelloMD’s community of 150,000 members and examined the usage of CBD products and their effectiveness. The survey found that women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using it, were likely to drop their traditional medicine.
As Forbes reports in an article about the study, “The most common reasons people used CBD were to treat insomnia, depression, anxiety and joint pain, according to Dr. Perry Solomon, the Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. 42% of the CBD users said they had stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol pain relievers or prescription drugs like Vicodin and had switched to using cannabis instead. Eighty percent said that they found the products to be ‘very or extremely effective.’ Only 3% or less found the product to be either ineffectual or only slightly effective.”
While more clinical trials need to be conducted to further legitimize the effectiveness of CBD as an effective treatment for pain, the anecdotal evidence cannot be refuted. We see proof that CBD works every single day in our clinic where we specialize in treating chronic pain and injuries. Many of our clients also tell us that CBD has been the most effective treatment for their depression and anxiety. These statements and success stories are what drive us to offer the highest quality, natural CBD products with the singular mission of helping people to ease or eradicate their pain with natural treatments. The cannabis plant stands to be a major catalyst to ending the opioid crisis in this country, providing a gateway OUT of drug addiction and into a healthier, pain-free life.
SOURCES: Philip Conaghan, M.B.B.S., professor, Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds' Chapel Allerton Hospital, United Kingdom; Robert Wergin, M.D., family physician, Milford, Neb., and president, American Academy of Family Physicians; Nortin Hadler, M.D., emeritus professor, medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; McNeil Consumer Healthcare, statement, March 2, 2015; March 2, 2015, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, online