January 9, 2012
Pharmaceutical painkillers are now responsible for more deaths in the United States than heroin and cocaine combined. The pharmaceuticals are responsible for more than 15,000 deaths conservatively in 2008 alone. With no sign of slowing down, the painkiller industry is becoming wildly popular among Americans — as a result, so is the high rate of painkiller abuse. Classified as dangerous by the U.S. government, cannabis (even in THC-free form, or free of psychoactive effects) has been identified as a powerful pain reliever in more than 80 peer-reviewed studies.
You may be aware of the fact that marijuana is usually quite high in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effect of cannabis. In contrast, it is also low in CBD (cannabidiol) content. Both THC and CBD are known as cannabinoids, however, which interacts with your body in a very unique way. In fact, cannabinoids are key when it comes to pain relief. While this information alone is enough to shatter the traditional beliefs on government marijuana regulation, the relationship between CBD and THC is even more revealing.
What you may not be familiar with is how CBD has been shown to block the effect of THC in the nervous system. This allows for marijuana to be used with little or no psychoactive effects. Hemp, on the other hand, is high in CBD and low in THC. This is due to the fact that it is bred to maximize its fiber, seeds, and oil. Of course these key properties are what it is most commonly used for.
In a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers examined the effects of cannabinoids on chronic pain and proper sleep. What they found in their trials challenges federal government claims that cannabis has ‘no accepted medical use’. The researchers conducted 18 trials using cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain, and found that cannabinoids demonstrated a significant painkilling effect as well as noticeable improvements in sleep in 15 of trials. Compared, to placebo, the cannabinoids were extremely effective.
Most importantly, there were no adverse effects.
Another study, performed in 2002, reached similar conclusions. Finding cannabis to aid in pain relief as well as quality of sleep, researchers from the McGill University Health Centre stated in summary that cannabis can be used as an effective way of improving pain, mood, and sleep in some patients with chronic pain.
There are many forms of the cannabis plant, many without mind-altering properties, many of which can be utilized without adverse reactions as detailed in the peer-reviewed research. It is also quite clear that the painkiller industry simply cannot continue to wreak havoc on the lives of many, and a natural alternative must soon emerge to prevent another 15,000 plus deaths this year. Why is the federal government refusing to admit the medicinal properties of cannabis and the unique ability of this substance to curb pain, insomnia, and impaired mood? This is only one example of how the government decides what is and what is not good for your health.
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