The number of Americans prescribed painkillers has quadrupled despite there being no reported increase in pain. Now, marijuana could replace a number of prescribed medications.
Statistics show that Americans are being prescribed medications and a quadrupled rate. Data also correlates with the number of people overdosing from these same medications. In 2013, 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses. Also, another two million (12 and older) admitted to dependency or abuse. Many are looking to marijuana as a replacement option.
In a recent study by the Drug and Alcohol Review, marijuana was stated as a viable option for drug and alcohol treatment. A survey of 473 medical marijuana patients was completed. Researchers found that 80.3% use marijuana to replace prescription drugs despite its increased cost. In addition, marijuana was also a common replacement for alcohol and other illicit substances.
On that note, here is a list of 5 prescription drugs that could be replaced by marijuana.
Prescription painkillers like Hydrocodone, Tramadol, and Oxycodone are among the most popular. These painkillers are often abused too. Accounting for 44 deaths per day in the U.S., prescription painkillers are both easy to acquire and easy to get attached too.
Studies show that marijuana can be used effectively to treat pain without the risk of serious side effects.
Strain Recommendations: Indica-dominant strains, Afghan Kush, Blue Widow or Dynamite.
Anxiety disorders make even the simplest tasks difficult to complete. Though anxiety patients can find relief through prescribed medications like Xanax and Valium, many have dangerous side effects. Side effects include cognitive decline, violence, suicidal tendencies, addiction and even death.
Though some may experience an increase in anxiety after consuming marijuana (especially strains high in THC), many others have noted a significant decrease in anxious tendencies.
Strain Recommendations: Jack Flash, Master Kush, and Lemon Kush.
Stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are prescribed to people diagnosed with ADHD. These medications help the user calm down and focus. However, these prescription drugs are often abused in an effort to maintain focus, ward off an appetite and enhance performance. Side effects include insomnia, nervousness, high blood pressure, headache and upset stomach.
Replacing stimulants with cannabis, strains that are not too sedating are the best option.
Strain recommendations: Green Crack, Hong Kong Kush, and Skywalker OG.
Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa or Lexapro are popularly prescribed anti-depressants. And for patients dealing with depression, it can be hard to even get out of bed, let alone work or raise a family. Many end up overmedicated or dealing with harsh side effects. Weight gain, headaches, nausea and sleep disturbance are some of the lighter effects.
Scientists have discovered that mood can be stabilized and depression symptoms eased by supplementing cannabinoids through cannabis therapy, especially for non-heavy users. On the other hand, marijuana use could exacerbate symptoms of depression but more research is needed to be sure.
Strain Recommendations: Maui Waui, Durban Poison, and Strawberry Cough.
Not getting enough rest can be debilitating in one’s life. Medications such as Lunesta, Ambien or Roeram are popular vices for sleep aids. Although they may work they also have dangerous side effects. Headaches, defecation problems, stomach pain, daytime drowsiness and the unfortunate risk of overdose are major effects of these drugs.
To use marijuana for sleep, avoid strains high in THC and focus more on strains high in CBD. Marijuana will help you to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Best of all, using marijuana for sleep can help protect the body from the sometimes dangerous side effects of other prescribed medications.
Strain Recommendations: Purple Voodoo 1, Blackberry Kush and Northern Lights.