Weaning Off Opioids with Cannabis

Opioids are the most common prescription medication in the United States. Millions of people are taking them for either chronic or acute pain.

Unfortunately, long-term use of opioids can lead to abuse and addiction, ultimately resulting in death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics, over 70,200 Americans lost their lives from drug overdoses in 2017—with a significant increase in deaths involving fentanyl.

In order to remedy the issues surrounding opioid use, the CDC issued revamped guidelines for doctors prescribing opioids in 2016. One of the recommendations was to treat pain with non-opioid drugs.

The following year, the National Academics of Science and Medicine (NASEM) analyzed over 10,000 human studies which studied the effectiveness of cannabis for multiple diseases and symptoms. In conclusion, the SASEM found that cannabis is an effective and safe treatment for pain.

How CBD Can Help

CBD has become a popular way to alleviate acute/chronic pain, reduce inflammation causing the pain, and reduce anxiety—all without the risk of addiction or any side effects. It naturally works with your body’s endocannabinoid system to produce such relief.

If you wish to use CBD as an alternative to opioid medication, you must either speak with our doctors at New Jersey Alternative Medicine or conduct your own research about the benefits of CBD for pain treatment. Most primary care physicians may not know how to develop a plan for a patient to wean off opioids.

Remember, do not quite prescribed medication cold-turkey since doing so may lead to dreadful withdrawal symptoms. Completely relying on CBD may take some time and rushing is not recommended.

Incorporating CBD to Treat Pain

Prior to tapering off your medication, you must determine the CBD dosage that is best for you. Many patients find using a dose of 10 to 20 mg daily is effective. If you feel like you require more, then do so because consuming CBD won’t result in dependence or impairment.

For chronic pain, softgels and tinctures are can provide relief. For acute pain, try vaping or dabbing.

If you’re not sure how much you should initially take, try starting off with 10 to 15 mg and wait for 45 minutes to an hour to see if you feel anything. If you don’t, take an additional 10 mg and wait another 30 minutes. Repeat these steps until you find your preferred dosage.

Before taking your regular medications, use CBD for up to two hours to determine how it feels compared to your opioids. When you find the right dose for you, then you can eventually tape off your opioid prescription.

For more information about the benefits of cannabis, contact our New Jersey medical marijuana doctors today and schedule an appointment to discuss your medical condition.