Scientists are examining the possiblity that marijuana could be used to fight an addiction to opioids and save countless lives.
The medical community continues to discover new uses for marijuana, and a new report indicates we might be able to use it to battle America’s growing opioid epidemic. Opioids kill tens of thousands of Americans each year, making it a major focus of the health care community, and now there is a growing trend to use another banned drug, marijuana, to fight against the tide.
A major new report from CNN delves into the issue, focusing on Maine where opioid overdoses have surged and made it one of the 10 states with the highest rates of overdose. Maine is also a state where medical marijuana has been legal for nearly two decades, putting the state in a unique position to do something about the problem.
“There’s no pill, there’s no spray, no drop, no puff [that] can completely solve this problem,” Dustin Sulak, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, was quoted as saying in the CNN report. “But cannabis, when it’s used in the right way, can take a big bite out of it.”
Opioids are dangerous because they act as a signal to tell the body to stop product endorphins, making the body more and more dependent on the drugs. That means more opioids are needed to get the same high, and it pushes the person further into addiction, and closer to overdose.
After reviewing the literature, Sulak told CNN that when opioids are used in combination with cannabis, marijuana can actually boost the effectiveness in the opioid so higher doses are not required.
If it works, it could be a significant breakthrough that saves thousands of lives.