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Cannabis (Marijuana) - A Safer Alternative for Chronic Pain

            Stronger medications, larger doses, and cocktails made from combinations of potentially deadly FDA approved medications (opioids), become a way of life for the person suffering from chronic pain. Prescription pain medications bring temporary relief, but eventually the sufferer of chronic pain becomes dependent immune. One would think that, with today's technology, there would be a safer alternative. Technology does not have the answer for relief from chronic pain. Nature has provided a safer alternative in an age-old herb known as cannabis, which comes from the hemp plant. In comparison, cannabis is a safer alternative for chronic pain than FDA approved opioids that are associated with addiction, dangerous side effects, and death. Derived from opium, FDA approved opioids, such as Vicodin, Percocet, Morphine, OxyContin, and Methadone work by blocking the pain receptors in the brain and has been proven to be effective for the relief of chronic pain, but relief does not come without serious risks. According to the American Chronic Pain Association, "the use of analgesics (pain relievers) and other medications is the most common method of chronic pain treatment. Pain medications can be helpful for some patients suffering from chronic pain, but they do not work for everybody. In fact, in some individuals, pain medications may worsen their condition or cause unwanted or dangerous side effects" (2012). Side effects associated with FDA approved opioids range from uncomfortable to deadly. Some of these include increased sensitivity to pain, constipation, nausea, decreased sex drive, sleep disturbances, dizziness, and drowsiness, hormonal changes, depression, kidney damage, impairment of the immune system and addiction. The chronic pain sufferer will likely be prescribed these medications long-term, so, eventually their bodies develop immunity to the opioid. When this happens, the dosage is increased, a stronger medication is prescribed, or a second pain medication is prescribed to supplement the original prescription.

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