The opioid epidemic in the U.S. is something that has for a long time, been kept under the radar. With an average of 78 Americans dying every day and around 30,000 per year from overdoses with the painkiller, it seems like there may be a safer alternative and a cure to this heart wrenching condition.
The FDA took a massive step to help break down this huge epidemic by requesting that Endo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENDP), take one of their most addictive drugs off of the market. This move by the FDA could help to grow another market; marijuana. The marijuana industry has been booming, and there are many reasons that cannabis could help to alleviate and even cure our nation of the dependence on opiates.
Medical cannabis has already been used across the country to help relive the pain of certain conditions. Cannabis has been proven to be an effective pain medication and can often be quite beneficial to those who suffer from epileptic seizures and a slew of other debilitating conditions. A recent study shows that there was a 64% decrease in opioid use when patients were given medical marijuana instead. It is clear that cannabis could potentially become a groundbreaking way to get past this crisis altogether.
Other scientific studies have shone that cannabis has a far less rate of addiction than painkillers based in opiates. Although cannabis is not without some rate of addiction, like anything, the science is groundbreaking as to how marijuana can potentially reshape our nation. The study has also shown that for pain reduction, marijuana is often more useful than its opiate alternative.
The question continues to be as to how we can make sure that medical cannabis is an effective use for chronic pain and how to dose and give it out properly. Although cannabis does have such a high amount of potential to turn the opioid crisis around, the government is still not sure of that. One of the interesting things about opioid painkillers is that after a certain amount of time of taking them, the effect tends to wear off, leaving just the addictive nature and its terrible side effects.
The most promising step in the right direction is coming from the massive amount of research that is being done into marijuana. The government wants to see a large number of concrete studies in the space in order for marijuana to become legalized on a nationwide basis at least for medical use. Many studies have already shown like mentioned previously, that cannabis is a fantastic medicine for pain relief.
Another factor that continues to come into play is how patients can dose themselves quickly and accurately when pain comes on instantly. It is notoriously easy to take a pill, but often using cannabis can come with a few steps that make it difficult to use in the short term. This issue is being solved very quickly, and many companies have continued to come out with groundbreaking ways to use cannabis.
One of the most promising companies in the space is GW Pharmaceuticals. GW has continued to come out with new and promising medicines to help get in on this multi-billion dollar industry. Pharmaceuticals are the next big step for the cannabis industry, and new drugs are being researched and worked on every day to make this happen.
As legislative measures continue to be put in place, the hopes are that the near future will see some sort of nationwide legislation to make cannabis available for patients who need it the most. Many stories have come out, showing patients moving the entirety of their families to different states just so one individual can get the treatment they need with cannabis. Hopefully, this will slow down and patients can begin to get help wherever they are, without uprooting their entire lives.
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