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Posted in Opiod on March 6, 2018   |  by Gary Burger

Battling the Opioid Crisis with Marijuana Derivatives

The opioid crisis continues to rage across the United States and researchers trying to combat it are increasingly trying to find ways to reduce or eliminate the way opioids trigger the brain’s reward-inducing mechanisms. Treatments such as this do not rely on an individual’s ability to wean themselves off opioids but instead eliminate the high that comes from the opioids making their use by the individual without reward.

Several medications are currently on the market and in use for treating opioid addiction the most common ones being methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. However, these drugs have their own side effects and drawbacks and many individuals suffer relapse following treatment or may simply become dependent upon the maintenance medication as opposed to other opioids.

Recently, new research emerged that indicates that cannabidiol, an oil derived from marijuana buds, may have the same effect as other withdrawal drugs, without the same side effects. Cannabidiol, or CBD oil as it is commonly known, works to manage chronic pain in individuals who have developed opioid dependence. It also works on brain receptors to eliminate the reward response that comes from the use of opioids and provides benefits like those associated with anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.

Discoveries such as these provide hope to individuals addicted to opioids but also are a source of frustration, as the ability of an individual to obtain access to marijuana-derived medications is determined by their individual state’s position on the legality of marijuana for medical use, recreational use, both, or neither. Additionally, the Federal government has still not changed its position on the illegality of marijuana – the law still heavily penalizes those in possession of the drug.

This presents a problem for anyone seeking to use an alternative treatment such as CBD oil in managing their opioid addiction. As these maintenance programs require long-term use of the medication, being in possession of the medication legally at all times becomes a concern. As marijuana laws are not uniform, traveling with or possessing CBD oil in a state where marijuana continues to be illegal puts the individual at risk of fines, court hearings, and even jail.

Before beginning any experimental or broadly-approved treatment, you should make sure that participation will not put you in violation of your local and state laws. Check with your health care provider to determine whether they can prescribe such medications, which will often be a good indicator of the drug’s legality in your jurisdiction.

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