Letter

Could CBD end the opioid crisis?

It is estimated that over 1000 people die every year in the UK from an opioid overdose. It impacts every kind of person from every social class. Even celebrities have become addicted to opioids. The opioid crisis is the biggest medical threat to the UK for years.

Source: addictaide.fr

Why people started taking opioids

Opioids were introduced at the end of the ’90s and since, have been offered by doctors to patients as an efficient solution to treat temporary or permanent stress or depression. The process is always the same: Regular people and families get a prescription for opioid pills to help with sleep, stress or depression.

This is an efficient solution, and many of these drugs work in a similar way to harder ones such as fentanyl, heroin and opium.

But nobody had the foresight to think ahead…

But the real problem is not how efficient these drugs are at treating people, but instead the addiction that can be formed to such a molecule that closely resembles heroin. These days, taking an opioid can effectively be the first step on a path that leads to heroin addiction. In a few weeks or months, new opioid users with normal lives start acting like junkies, destroying their lives and their families, stealing goods and money to fund their addiction – and finally resorting to heroin or opium in a final morbid fall…

These parents, these families, these rich and poor people from all over the UK are all the victims.

Why are such addictive drugs so openly prescribed?

For the last 20 years, opioid drugs have been prescribed in abundance. There are various causes for this spread:

  • Misunderstanding about the side-effect and the close resemblance to heroin.
  • There are no other drugs on the market that match their effiency.
  • Big marketing campaigns by pharmaceutical companies.

It’s not only in the past: In 2019 an estimated 1200 people died in the UK from an opioid overdose. Some errors have been made in the past and the UK Government is actively fighting the epidemic but is it enough? Opioid already killed more than 1000 people in the UK in 2018 and it’s time to look for a real alternative to these horrible chemicals.

But there is a solution

What is certain is that too many people are treated with unnecessarily strong drugs. Opioids should stop being the first solution we jump to when we have a temporary problem or illness. Cannabidiol has been proven very efficient in some cases (for sleep, relaxation, recovery etc…) and some new studies are demonstrating the previously undiscovered medicinal properties of CBD. When you know that opioids are used mostly as a painkiller, you can also understand that CBD could also prove to be super useful because it is a proven painkiller too. Contrary to opioids however, CBD has no side-effects and user have absolutely 0% risk of developing addictive behaviours or moving on to higher doses or stronger drugs.

CBD could very well be an ideal solution for treating patients with light or medium pain, and for people with a higher level of pain. It could also be interesting to think about using medicinal cannabis (if legal in the State) with a mix of CBD and THC – like in some already existing authorised medications (like Sativex). In most cases, a light CBD-based treatment should be explored first, before considering medical marijuana, or indeed opioids, or an even stronger painkiller like Morphine.

Well, I’m not a doctor or a scientist and as a small company owner, my word may not have the same reach as those big pharmaceutical companies or those who control health policy, but I think the process that leads to opioid prescription needs rethinking.

Logic dictates that it is better to start slowly to determine the best drug a patient needs. If a patient feels tired, you don’t give him cocaine because it’s more efficient than a vitamin pill.

CBD could be widely used to replace codeine

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