While opioid painkillers have strong analgesic effects, there are many cases of dependency and death due to side effects.
In contrast, cannabis is attracting attention as an alternative to opioid painkillers because it can provide pain relief care with less risk of dependency and side effects.
In this article, we will compare the effects of medical marijuana and opioid painkillers while explaining the two in detail.
what are opioid painkillers?
Opioid analgesics are drugs that bind to opioid receptors in the peripheral and central nervous systems and work like or similar to morphine.
Plant-derived opioid analgesics are classified as hemp drugs. Opioids that are produced by semi-synthesis or synthesis of compounds are also called non-narcotic opioids.
They are often used during and after surgery, for pain caused by trauma, childbirth, cancer pain, etc. They also have severe side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, breathlessness, and sleep disturbances.
It is also known to be highly addictive, and in the U.S., the rapid increase in the prescription rate of opioid painkillers has led to many fatal accidents, and the drug itself has become a problem.
In the U.S., where many states have lifted the ban on not only medical marijuana but also marijuana for recreational use, opioid painkillers and medical marijuana are currently being administered or replaced in parallel.
Comparing Cannabis and Opioid Painkillers
Below is a comparison of medical marijuana and opioid painkillers from various angles.
Pathway of Effect
Cannabinoids that bind to receptors CB1 and CB2 in the body to produce effects on the body.
Binds to the opioid receptors present in the body to produce an effect on the body.
Cannabinoids derived from cannabis, primarily CBD, but may also contain THC.
There are two types of opioids: opioids derived from cannabis and opioids produced from compounds.
Main actions and effects
In addition to analgesic effects, the following effects can be expected. ・Anti-inflammatory effect・Antioxidant effect・Relaxing effect ・Stress relieving effect・Improvement of sleep disorders ・Antidepressant effect・Anti-cancer/anti-tumor effect
Mainly analgesic effect
It is said that there is almost no dependence on THC, but in rare cases, symptoms such as nausea and discomfort may occur.
May cause vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, sleep disturbances, discomfort, and mood swings
Although there are concerns about psychological dependence on THC, physical dependence is said to be almost non-existent.
It causes a surge of dopamine and is considered highly addictive.
Effective use of cannabis and opioid painkillers
Comparing only the analgesic aspect of opioid painkillers and cannabis, opioid painkillers are considered to have a higher sedative effect.
However, clinical experiments have found that when both are taken in small amounts, they can be expected to have a higher effect than opioids alone.
There is also a report that in the United States, the number of deaths caused by opioid painkillers has decreased by 20% in states where cannabis use has been banned.
The CBD contained in cannabis can also be expected to help improve addiction, so it is expected that the use of opioid painkillers in pain treatment and pain clinics will increase in the future, as well as the reduction of opioid painkillers and the parallel or replacement treatment with cannabis.
In this article, we have reported in detail about opioid painkillers and cannabis, which have powerful sedative effects.
Cannabis, which is less burdensome to the body than opioid painkillers and has no side effects, is likely to be taken up in many pain treatments in the future.