Cannabis vs. Opioids
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Adults suffering from chronic pain are frequently given medications to relieve pain, including opioids. But opioids are frequently misused, and the global opioid epidemic has taken countless lives if you have a medical marijuana card and need to try out legal cannabis to bring relief to your chronic pain issues.

As a consequence, many people are searching for opioid substitutes. Cannabis has come up as one potential solution.

Is cannabis similar to an opioid? And can it be used as a remedy for chronic pain without posing the same risks?

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are one kind of drug that binds to opioid receptors inside the brain. They can treat a variety of pain issues. Nevertheless, they are restricted drugs, meaning there is a significant potential for addiction and misuse.

Some of the opioids are:

  • Hydrocodone/acetaminophen: Lorcet and Norco
  • Oxycodone or acetaminophen: Endocet, Percocet,
  • Oxycodone: Oxycontin, Roxicodone
  • Tramadol: Ultram

Because of the potential for misuse and dependence, opioids aren’t an initial therapy for most persons suffering from chronic pain. The only exceptions are cancer-related chronic pain and end-of-life care. If you use opioids for persistent pain, take the dosage with minimal effectiveness. Your healthcare practitioner will most likely examine your therapy regularly to see whether you need to continue taking opioids and to ensure you are not abusing them.

What Exactly Is Cannabis?

Cannabis is the medicinal Cannabis sativa plant which contains 100 active compounds including terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. Cannabidiol or CBD and Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC are the most well-known cannabinoids.

Numerous states in the United States have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes. One of the most prevalent reasons consumers use cannabis in jurisdictions where it is legal is to relieve pain.
Global clinical trials are underway to investigate the usage of cannabis-based medicines for chronic pain. Let’s take a look at the most pressing questions about cannabis and opioids.

Is Marijuana An Opioid?

Cannabis is not an opioid. THC, on the other hand, has a secondary impact on opioid receptors, which could explain why cannabis appears to help alleviate pain.

Most of the time, cannabis is taken with opioids to assist people in reducing their opioid dose. Adding low-dose THC to persistent pain management with opioids improves pain control and reduces the risk of opioid-related damage, according to research.

In a study, those who used opioids and cannabis as part of a chronic pain treatment regimen had fewer adverse effects and a higher quality of life than those who only used opioids.

As previously stated, CBD may also aid in treating opioid addiction. It may aid in the reduction of cravings, the alleviation of withdrawal symptoms, and the reduction or cessation of opioid use.

More doctors are growing accustomed to cannabis as an alternative, so don’t be afraid to discuss it with yours if you’re thinking about using cannabis to assist you in taking fewer opioids or stopping using them entirely.

What Research Is There On The Use Of Cannabis For Persistent Pain?

There has been proof that cannabis can help adults with chronic pain problems. NASEM advocated for larger research and long-term safety data to further understand its impact. Two research articles, including 2,000 patients, indicated that cannabis greatly relieves patients with non-cancer chronic pain. It also helps with other pain-related symptoms, such as:

  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle tenseness
  • Problems with the quality of life
  • Patient fulfillment

What About CBD As A Treatment For Chronic Pain?

CBD products are everywhere, from CBD sweets for inflammation to CBD ointment for acne. Although additional research is required, CBD may be useful for persistent pain. It appears to be particularly effective for nerve pain or pain related to inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.

One advantage of CBD is that it does not provide the psychoactive “high” that THC frequently does. It may also improve people’s sleep and general standard of life. Moreover, it could assist people in reducing or discontinue their use of opioids.

Keep in consideration that CBD products offered over the counter are currently unregulated. As a result, they might only sometimes include what the bottle claims.

Is It Safe To Use Cannabis To Relieve Chronic Pain?

Cannabis, like any drug, has some hazards and adverse reactions to be mindful of. THC is responsible for the majority of cannabis’s adverse effects. Among these are symptoms such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • improved mood
  • Appetite stimulation
  • More serious THC adverse effects at large doses or with extended usage include:
  • Breathing difficulties when using inhaled medication forms
  • accelerated heart rate
  • Extreme nausea and vomiting
  • Paranoia or anxiety
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Seizures

CBD does not appear to have the same adverse reactions as THC. When used with THC, it may assist in lessening side effects. However, excessive dosages of CBD might cause diarrhea and sleepiness. There is also some indication that high CBD doses may harm your liver.

When it involves overdose, opioids, and cannabis are not the same. An opioid overdose is frequently lethal. A cannabis overdose, on the other hand, rarely is. However, this does not imply that marijuana is safer for treating chronic pain. To be certain, additional research is required to evaluate the hazards vs. benefits of cannabis use.

Can You Use Cannabis As A Substitute For Opioids?

What’s more intriguing is that cannabis may help patients use fewer opioids. One 2020 study examined persons dependent on opioids for persistent low back pain. When adults participating in the research used cannabis, half of them were able to quit using all opioids. And one-third reduced their opioid consumption.

Cannabis was preferable to opioids in surveys for several reasons:

  • Side effects are less severe.
  • Fewer withdrawal symptoms
  • Increased accessibility
  • Better results

Is It Possible To Combine Opioids And Cannabis?

Yes, Possibly. However, consider that it is ideal to accomplish this with the assistance of a medical practitioner. They can direct you through the process and ensure your safety.


Early research suggests that cannabis may be an effective treatment for chronic pain and a replacement for opioid drugs. Cannabis has fewer side effects and hazards than opioids but also presents some significant concerns. Larger research and longer-term data are required.

If you’re considering using cannabis to treat chronic pain, discuss the risks and advantages with your doctor. Getting medical weed is easy only if you have a medical marijuana card made by KIF.


Which cannabis strain is best for pain that persists?

  • White Widow, Granddaddy Purple, and Harlequin are among the most popular strains. These strains are well-known for their substantial CBD content, and numerous consumers report that they help with chronic pain alleviation.

Is it better to use opioids for chronic or acute pain?

  • Acute discomfort usually goes away as the body heals. On the contrary, chronic pain can continue for weeks or months, well beyond the typical healing time. In some cases, cannabis could be a better option than painkillers. Prescribed opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine are among many treatment choices for extreme acute pain.

Can chronic pain last a lifetime?

  • Chronic pain seldom goes away, but you may control it with a variety of tactics that are effective for you. Chronic pain medications available today may decrease a person’s score for pain by roughly 30%.

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

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