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Hooked on Big Pharma?

CBD is Here To
Relieve You

It starts with an accident.

Maybe it was work related, or sports related. Perhaps, the injury occurred
leisurely. Regardless, the back pain starts to surface.

A few weeks go by and the pain still persists.

You schedule a doctor’s appointment. Surely, the pain should have subsided
by now…

Your doctor runs some tests with no luck. You attend a follow-up
appointment. Then, a physical therapist appointment is scheduled.

Back pain,they say, is sometimes incurable. So, here’s a prescription for


oxycodone.

Unfortunately, the way this story ends is no longer uncommon.

A patient gets prescribed opioid medication for chronic pain and, statistically,
21-29 percent of those patients misuse their prescription. They then get
addicted to the medication and, when the prescription runs out, they turn to
heroin to get their fill. At least, that’s what happened to 75% of the individuals
involved in this study.
This situation has becomeso common that it has changed the lives of 11.5
million people in the United States. Our country is currently experiencing the
most catastrophic opioid epidemic it has ever seen. Opioids took the lives of
42,000 people in 2016 alone. That’s roughly 116 deaths from opioid-related
drug overdosesevery day.

Opioid pain medications aren’t the only highly addictive drugs that are being
prescribed by your family practitioner. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety
medications can also be highly addictive; however, their abuse is not as
common.

The realm of prescription drugs is complex, with patients sometimes taking


pain, anxiety and depression medication simultaneously due to the
intersectionality of those medications. In the U.S., 70% of Americans are
prescribed at least one prescription drug while a little more than half are
prescribed two. Of these medications, anti-depressants are the most
prescribed with opioids following close behind. With these findings, it’s safe to
say that the majority of our population is pharmaceutically medicated.

While some medications do help patients with their symptoms, it doesn’t


mean that these medications don’t come at a cost. While opioid pain
medications are clearly taking lives at an appalling rate more so than
antidepressants and anti-anxiety, they all still have concerning side effects and
change the chemical make-up of the brain.

Every patient has an individual reason for taking the drugs prescribed to him
or her by their doctor. It is not wrong for patients to listen to the medical
advice of their physician, even though it may be worth noting that only 58% of
Americans believe their doctors can be trusted. There’s a wide range of
reasons for this, including doctors prescribing highly potent pharmaceutical
drugs when there are more practical preventative measures that could be
taken.

However, what about the patients who want to avoid taking a chemistry lab in
the form of a pill? What about the patients who are looking for an alternative
that isn’t addictive, doesn’t cause withdrawal symptoms and doesn’t cause a
rabbit hole of medication use to combat side effects?

Taking center stage is CBD.


Cannabidiol

CBD (Cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive sister of THC


(tetrahydrocannabinol). Both of these compounds, CBD and THC, are found in
cannabis and, while THC may be the reason why you hid in your friend’s closet
paranoid of an alien invasion in high school, CBD is here to clear up your
perspective of cannabis.

CBD made its debut with the story of Charlotte Figi, a child who suffered from
severe epilepsy and was having about 300 seizures a week. Charlotte was on a
heavy amount of prescription drugs that started to reduce her cognitive skills
significantly. With no other option, her parents gave her CBD and her seizures
reduced to about 3 a week.

Charlotte Figi’s story gave CBD the fame it needed to be considered a serious
alternative to prescription medications.

By this time, some of you may think this is too far-fetched.

“Are you telling me that cannabis is a better form of medication than drugs
created and tested by scientists?” your thoughts say.

Yes. That’s exactly what I’m telling you. But, let’s move away from the idea of
cannabis being a singular entity. Cannabis extends beyond just smokin’ the
reefer.

CBD or hemp oil is different than what you’ve always rolled into a joint. CBD
oil derives from hemp, whichis higher in CBD and extremely low in THC as
opposed to marijuana. You know, hemp? The powerful industrial plant that
has so much potential, but unfortunately was deemed a “hippie” product that
most people are unwilling to use it due to its association with cannabis. *sigh*

To get a better understanding of this “new” and medicallybeneficial plant


property, let’s look into how it actually works.

How CBD works:

CBD, unlike THC, does not create any psychoactive effects. While THC will give
you a “high,” CBD alone is incapable of making you soar like a kite. So, if you’re
feeling iffy about CBD because it comes from cannabis, fret not because it will
not get you stoned whatsoever.

Rather, CBD causes the body to use its own endocannabinoid system in a more
beneficial way.

Confused? Let’s back up.

Every human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is essentially


the message center of cannabinoids in the body. The body creates some
cannabinoids on its own (called endocannabinoids), which communicate with
the body’s ECS and helps control functions of the body like pain receptors, the
immune system and sleep.

The main difference between THC and CBD, other than the psychoactive
effects, is that THC affects the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors. It alters the
chemicals in our brain and releases dopamine, which can set the brain on a
game of cat and mouse to achieve that high again. While THC is fun in
moderation, it can be harmful if consumed constantly.

On the other hand, CBD does not change the make-up of the body’s
endocannabinoids. Instead, it has little effect on the ECS and allows the body
to use its own endocannabinoids in a medically beneficial way.

CBD vs pharmaceutical pain medication:

Opioid pain medication takes control of the body. While it may mask the pain,
it creates a handful of other life-threatening problems including addiction,
withdrawal symptoms and unsettling side effects.

It does not make any sense to tackle a bodily issue with medication that will
create a lifetime of heart-wrenching problems.

While research of CBD is limited, there are still compelling studies that show
CBD is a replacement for opioid pain medication. The amount of people
struggling with opioid addiction is a cry of help from our country. We need an
alternative.

In relation to the treatment of pain, CBD acts in a way that prevents the
absorption of anandamide, which reduces the amount of pain a patient feels.
In one study, “80% of patients reported that cannabis by itself was more
effective than their opioids.”

CBD is key in pain prevention, but more importantly, it will not lead you down
a road of addiction and eventually have you fighting for your life. While Big
Pharma may do that, CBD will not.

A medication that does its job and doesn’t leave you hooked. Sounds too good
to be true, but trust me, it’s not!

CBD alternative for anti-anxiety medication:

In the U.S., roughly 31 percent of adults experience an anxiety-disorder in


their lives. That’s 31 percent of the populationsusceptible to getting hooked
on benzos. That’s 31 percent of the population who can relate to potentially
using Big Pharma drugs to manage their mind.

Treatment of anxiety with CBD may sounds contradictory as many people


experience anxiety from using marijuana recreationally.But, remember, CBD
is different than marijuana! We are talking about hemp oil here!

It may be hard to grasp, but CBD works in opposite of THC.

While THC affects the brain in a psychoactive way, CBD does not. The negative
effects that people feel from THC, like increased anxiety and paranoia, do not
exist with CBD because it does not affect how the brain acts or perceives
things. This alone should give those with anxiety some interest in trying CBD.

Again, research is limited, but this study shows that CBD positively affected
those who suffer from social anxiety disorders by changing the distribution of
blood flow to the brain, which causes a relief of anxiety. This shows that CBD
does not mask the problem, but rather changes how the brain reacts and
causes anxiety.

According to this study, there is evidence that “strongly supports CBD as a


treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety
disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
when administered acutely.”
To solidify these findings and regulate the right type of dosing, more research
needs to be conducted, but clearly the positive path of CBD in the medical
realm of neuro-science is currently being paved.

CBD alternative for anti-depression medication:

According to the CDC, antidepressants make the top three for the most
commonly used therapeutic drugs with it being used for depression, anxiety
and pain.

Between 2011-2014, 12.7 percent of people from the age of 12 used


antidepressants within the past month. Slowly yet surely, the U.S. is becoming
more and more chemically medicated.

For those who have dealt with depression, it is a crippling experience. It’s not
something to take lightly and while some antidepressants have had success in
some patients, a CBD alternative may interest those who simply do not want
to become dependent on pharmaceutical drugs.

The side effects of antidepressants are enough reason to find other


alternatives. Among the list are anxiety and potential suicide. Anti-
depressants are a drug that causes you to take anti-anxiety medication
because of its side effects. All of a sudden, you’ll need to take another
pharmaceutical drug to combat the one you’re already taking. And, a side
effect of suicide is a red flag. Why would you take something that could cause
you to take your own life?

Understanding depression is important in understanding how CBD can affect


this emotional state. In this study, it was found that patients diagnosed with
depression have lower levels of circulated endocannabinoids and a lack of
central endocannabinoid signaling. In addition, some forms of antidepressants
alter endocannabinoid signaling. From what we’ve already learned about CBD,
it makes sense that CBD has the potential to help combat depression since
CBD allows the body to use its own ECS more beneficially.

In a study conducted in 2016, rats have proved this theory to be correct as


CBD relieved depression in these little patients. While rats and humans are
clearly different, this study at least opens the door for more research to be
conducted.
The Take Away Point:

It may seem that CBD is a medical treatment sent from the gods that can
miraculously heal almost everything.

While CBD did not come from the heavens on a gold encrusted platter, it did
originate naturally from this planet that has been functioning on its own for
millions of years. When pharmaceuticals are causing so much harm, perhaps
now is the time to reach back to the Earth to combat our problems naturally.

Cannabis has been a cash crop used for a wide variety of versatile uses dating
back to 12,000 years ago. In China, there is documentation of cannabis being
used medically starting about 1,800 years ago.

Cannabis is not new. Hemp is not new. The medical benefits of cannabis are
not new. Only our mindset of cannabis has changed, even though the
crackdown on cannabis as a drug only started recently compared to the life
span of cannabis itself.

There is strong evidence that supports CBD’s capability of helping those with
an array of medical ailments including, but not limited to chronic pain,
depression and anxiety. While the pharmaceutical industry has caused an
unfathomable amount of deaths, cannabis has a clean slate with zero
overdoses and zero deaths. So, why not give CBD a try?

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