When we’re talking about THC from the cannabis plant, studies have been done even though it’s not FDA-approved. Studies on people smoking cannabis, applying it topically, and ingesting oils.
Cancer research is a huge subject of evidence-based pain reduction using marijuana. Fibromyalgia is another. It is a very difficult disease to treat with pain all over the body. There’s evidence now that some people who have fibromyalgia might actually be cannabinoid deficient, meaning their body doesn’t produce enough natural cannabinoids. This is fascinating to some people who think they’ll never consume cannabis.
You’re already producing it in your body and you may actually not produce enough. This is speculation still but there’s some evidence that points to it. And a lot of people who have fibromyalgia experience reduced pain when they consume cannabis at the proper dose and formulation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an extremely common disease and it’s been shown over and over again to be treated by THC and CBD. Inflammation in the bowels can cause horrible pain. I have a lot of clients who have IBS. It’s a challenge to treat. It’s hard to find the dose. That’s why I always recommend seeing a cannabis consultant like myself. Somebody who can hold your hand and guide you through, tweak your dose, and make sure that you’re consuming it the proper way.
Another fascinating study found that THC reduces dependence on opioids. If you take opiates for pain your tolerance goes up and the amount you use increases. If you’re using cannabis in conjunction with that, your tolerance for opiates does not go up as quickly so you don’t need to take as many. Then, if you have to go off the opiates, the withdrawal from the opiates (cold sweats, neuropathic pain, insomnia, etc.) is mitigated by THC. It’s a really nice buffer for people who have chronic pain and are using opiates.
THC also rekindles the opiate analgesic effect after the dose wears off. This means if you take an opiate like Oxycontin it may help with pain but will eventually wear off. You would want to take another pill. But you can consume cannabis instead and this will actually help reactivate the analgesic effect of the opiates. It’s fascinating.
Letter to the Big Man
Licensed marijuana dispensaries in communities that are legal and operating have been shown to correlate to reduced opiate deaths, treatment needs, and prescriptions. It’s in the data. It’s in the science. When people consume cannabinoids, their pain is reduced. And therefore, they just don’t need opioids as much.
People often talk about cannabis as a gateway drug. I actually wrote a letter to Governor Chris Christie and the government’s opioid task force. I said, “Look, here’s all the studies. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people are studying this. The evidence is really clear. You need to legalize marijuana and you need to allow legal dispensaries to operate. You need to allow citizens to grow their own cannabis in their yards and produce their own medicine.”
They sent a letter back. I was impressed to get the letter. They said, “Sorry, we’re not interested in marijuana because we believe it’s a gateway drug to opiates.”
This may or may not be true. If you drink alcohol before you take opiates, that could be a gateway drug. That’s a difficult one to pin down.
My argument is there is no gateway. The gateway is a metaphor. We don’t walk through a gate when we get to opiates. What you do is you walk to a hospital or doctor’s office and they give you opiates. They cannot prescribe marijuana. So, there is no gateway. You’re just already at opiates.
That’s where we’ve arrived in our culture, and it’s killing thousands of people. We’ve already killed more people in the opioid epidemic than in every way that America has fought combined. My argument is give people marijuana. At least if it truly is a gateway to the opiate maybe it’ll slow down the speed at which they arrive at the opiates because they’re using cannabis.
It’s really important. I’m very passionate about this. I really believe it.