Why is CBD Better than Tramadol For Chronic Pain?
Over the past two decades, the cannabis plant, commonly known as marijuana, has been a subject of interest in the medical community. In some states, medical marijuana is already available for certain conditions. Its efficacy as a pain reliever has been well-established. Although cannabis is most often associated with relieving cancer pain and loss of appetite, its analgesic qualities could prove promising for people with back pain, fibromyalgia and a number of other chronic pain conditions.
How Does Cannabis Relieve Pain?
Much like the opioid receptor system in the body that allows endorphins to have their pleasant, pain-relieving effects, the body also has a cannabinoid receptor system. There are three kinds of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (made by the body), phytocannabinoid (made by marijuana plants) and synthetic cannabinoids produced in a laboratory.
The cannabis plant contains a number of cannabinoids, each with its own qualities. The three most important components for this discussion are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and beta-caryophyllene. THC is a mild pain reliever and the main psychoactive component of marijuana. CBD reduces spasms, inflammation, nausea and anxiety. Beta-caryophellene is a strong anti-inflammatory cannabinoid, and is found in highest concentration in cannabis essential oils.
Some are concerned about the potential of dependence associated with drugs. However, many accepted prescriptions pain medications, including opioids, are highly addictive. Cannabis has actually been shown to limit opioid dependence. Aside from habitual addiction, which is a concern with any medication, there is no indication that cannabis poses dependency issues. A host of other damaging health effects associated with common pain-killers, such as stomach, kidney and liver damage, as well as overdose, are not associated with marijuana use.
The most popular method of use for cannabis is smoking. Lung and throat irritation are valid concerns for people who are considering medical marijuana for prolonged pain management. Further research is needed to assess the efficacy of cannabis administered orally or through a ventilator.
As with any pain medication, cannabis is not the cure for a painful condition. Rather, it is a useful tool for pain management that should be used to temporarily alleviate symptoms while pursuing a treatment plan that attacks the source of your pain.
Best CBD products For Chronic Pain
To first understand opioid addiction, you must first understand what opioids are. The term opioid refers to any drug or chemical that attaches (like a key fits into a lock) to sites in the brain called opioid receptors. The human body makes its own opioids (called endorphins) but the opioids we are concerned with when we talk about opioid addiction are those that are manufactured in a laboratory or made by plants. For instance, morphine and codeine are found in the extract (the opium) of seeds from the poppy plant, and this opium is processed into heroin. Most prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone are synthesized in the laboratory. When a person becomes dependent upon these drugs, they need opioid addiction treatment.
What are Common Types of Opioids?
Opioids may be prescribed legally by doctors (for pain, cough suppression or opioid dependence) or they may be taken illegally for their mood-altering effects--euphoria, sedation, "to feel better", or for some, opioids are taken "just to feel normal". Not everyone who takes an opioid is at risk for dependence requiring opioid addiction treatment, but these drugs are commonly abused.
Examples of prescribed medications that sometimes lead to opioid addiction, but that can also help patients battle other types of substance abuse include:
- Codeine--the opioid in Tylenol #3, Fiorinal or Fiorecet #3, and in some cough syrups.
- Hydrocodone--the opioid in Vicodin, Lortab, and Lorcet.
- Oxycodone--the opioid in Percodan, Percocet and OxyContin.
- Hydromorphone--the opioid in Dilaudid.
- Oxymorphone--the opioid in Opana.
- Meperidine--the opioid in Demerol.
- Morphine--the opioid in MS Contin, Kadian and MSIR.
- Fentanyl--the opioid in Duragesic.
- Tramadol--the opioid in Ultram.
- Methadone--the opioid in Dolophine.
- Buprenorphine--the opioid in Suboxone.
- Denial that a problem exists, or minimizing the severity of the problem.
- Impaired control over use--using more than planned.
- A lot of time is spent obtaining, using or recovering from using opioids.
- Important obligations like school, work, or childcare are reduced for the sake of use.
- Multiple prior unsuccessful attempts to quit, or a persistent desire to quit.
- Continued use despite obvious harm to one's health, job, finances or family.
What is Physical Dependence?
A person is said to have "physical dependence" on opioids if they have high "tolerance", meaning more of the substance is needed to get the same effect, and they get withdrawal symptoms if the substance is stopped. Most patients who seek opioid addiction treatment also have some degree of physical dependence. However, physical dependence alone is not sufficient to make a diagnosis of addiction. A person can be physically dependent--such as a cancer patient might be who is prescribed opioids for severe pain--and not be addicted. Again, addiction refers to certain behaviors.
Patients who are being treated for chronic pain can develop what we call "pseudo addiction". They may start to exhibit some of the same behaviors we see with addiction when they don't get adequate pain relief. When their pain is controlled, the behaviors that we associate with opioid addiction disappear. They do not need opioid addiction treatment. They need better pain management.
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