By Allan Frankel, M.D.
Over the years, I have been surprised by how many patients with chronic pain using opiates have very little difficulty getting off their narcotics when we incorporate cannabis therapies. It is true that many of these patients are not necessarily drug-seeking, but many may also be sticking with opiates to help with their mood disorders, mainly depression.
Depression in our country is very widespread and if a patient is given a drug to help with pain or mood disorders, sometimes the drug almost works too well. It does not take long for the patient to begin craving the narcotic or other drug. The patient’s level of demand for the drug increases fairly quickly and separate addiction mechanisms and cravings take over.
When I treat a patient on narcotics, whether as a part of their drug rehabilitation or chronic pain management, I have been pleasantly surprised by how CBD treats their “cravings”. THC can be beneficial also, but in my experience, CBD rich cannabis whole plant extracts can be extremely helpful getting patients off their narcotics.
If a patient is anxious or depressed any level of pain is amplified. If a patient cannot sleep, their pain is always worse. When cannabis can be used to help with their insomnia it is very beneficial.
If CBD continues to show promising results with narcotic cravings, perhaps dosed cannabis can be used in conjunction with other rehabilitation tools. In addition to diminishing cravings it improves patients’ moods, treats insomnia, pain issues and more.
Let’s try replace narcotics with safe mediations as opposed to the usual Methadone and Suboxone.
To learn more, see previous blog on narcotics.
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