Canadian Medical Experts Say Cannabis Can Help Reduce Opioid Use

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It’s no secret that North America is currently gripped in a rampant and dangerous opioid epidemic. The United States has the most opioid users per capita in the world, followed by Canada.

These troubling numbers have governments scrambling to act, healthcare officials are looking for ways to decrease opioid use whenever possible. Now, it looks like cannabis can come to the rescue.

Canadian medical experts including Dr. Mark Ware, the Vice Chair of Canada’s marijuana task force, say that hopes are high cannabis can be a safe substitute and decrease the amount of opiates patients are prescribed. He added that Canada’s legal framework will facilitate research into the subject.

In his statements to The Canadian Press, Dr. Ware cited that published scientific research already indicates that the way cannabinoid molecules interact with the brain is synergistic to how opioids interact with receptors in the body. “This appears to be a very profound effect,” he said.

Further to these important comments, facts show that geographical areas with legal medical marijuana have reported drastic declines in opioid-related deaths. Dr. Ware added to this by stating the need for clinical research, to see if patients on high doses of opioids can turn to cannabis for reducing their opioid use.

British Columbia’s Chief Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, also agreed that cannabis could offer a much less risky option for people with a number of health conditions. “If you’ve got a lot of people taking a high dose opioids by prescription for a long period of time, if you start cutting them off, you really need to have an off ramp or alternative to offer them,” he said.

It is easy to agree that the opioid epidemic is a blight on society, regardless of where one’s political views may lie. It’s a self-created cancer that needs to be stopped as swiftly and quickly as possible. If cannabis in the answer, now is the time.

About Author

Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.

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