Can cannabis be a substitute for prescription drugs?
Celia Gorman September 15, 2020
In order for a prescription drug to reach the market, it must be extensively studied, first in animal and then in human clinical trials. Safety, efficacy, and risks must be determined. But as anyone who has seen a commercial for a prescription drug knows, there are still side effects. There are risks in stopping a prescription. And, of course, there are the risks of addiction.
Prescription opioid painkillers have increased drastically from common-use pill to massive public health crisis. At the same time, the perception of marijuana has shifted away from it as a gateway drug to using it as medicine.
Now, several recent studies show that public opinion is shifting to the point of substituting cannabis for opioids and other prescription drugs that have high risks or low efficacy. In addition to opioids, drug substitution is most common for benzodiazepines, like Valium or Klonopin, and antidepressants.
The benefits of substituting a substance for an addictive drug seem obvious, but there is a serious hidden risk in doing so without talking to a doctor. For example, with CBD, its interactions with prescription drugs have barely been studied. Complications can arise from drug interactions and withdrawal symptoms, resulting in incorrect dosages and potentially unknown side effects.
How to Use Cannabis to Reduce Opioid Dependence
Patients are substituting prescriptions with cannabis