Marijuana vs Opioids for Pain

Posted · 95 Comments
Marijuanavsopioids

Carol’s teenage daughter Julia is a dancer who suffered a serious injury that required extensive surgery. Julia was sent home after surgery with opioids for pain. Despite the opioids, Julia was screaming in pain. Carol repeatedly called her doctor’s office and each time was told to increase the dosage of the opioids. At first Carol followed the doctor’s advice but became increasingly concerned because the medication wasn’t working, Julia continued to scream, and Carol was worried about overdose. Finally Julia said, “I know what I need. Please drive me over to my friend’s house”. When they arrived, Julia got marijuana from her friend and after one puff of marijuana was pain free. This occurred in Texas, where possession of even small amounts of marijuana (less than two ounces) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $2000 fine.
Paul was on 90mg of oxycodone four times a day for his chronic pain. He gradually weaned himself off of oxycodone using marijuana and now uses only marijuana to treat his pain. He has less pain and better quality of life than when he was on opioids. He lives in New York State where a recently passed medical marijuana law does not allow use of marijuana for his condition.

Most people believe that the most powerful weapons we have against severe pain are opioids like Vicodin, Percocet, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.  But is this really true?  It’s an important question because opioids are highly addictive and taking too much can be fatal.  Millions of Americans have become addicted to prescription opioids and most have been medical patients taking them as directed.  Even worse, more than 190,000 Americans have died of accidental overdoses of these drugs.  Yet opioids are still widely prescribed for patients with moderate to severe pain because most patients and doctors believe they are the most effective treatment.

According to the National Safety Council, 200mg of ibuprofen plus 500mg of acetaminophen is the most effective pain relief combination for acute pain—two out of three patients get pain relief from this drug combination compared to only two out of nine treated with 15mg of Oxycodone.  200mg of ibuprofen provides as much pain relief as a 10mg morphine shot.

Mounting evidence indicates that marijuana may be more effective at treating pain than any other available drug, including opioids.  Marijuana is certainly safer—it is not physically addictive and there has never been any documented case of death due to marijuana overdose.  Marijuana users do not build up tolerance to the drug, (i.e. needing higher doses to achieve the same effect) the way that opioid users do.  In fact, marijuana, when used together with opioids, can prevent the development of tolerance and can help opioid users wean off their drugs.  States with medical marijuana laws have reduced opioid overdose deaths by an average of 25%.

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Marijuana is the only known plant that contains compounds called cannabinoids.  Our bodies naturally make cannabinoids (known as endocannabinoids when our body produces them) to help relieve pain.  Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist and pharmacologist, who has done research on endocannabinoids, has even proposed that fibromyalgia, an increasingly commonly diagnosed pain disorder that is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, is caused by endocannabinoid deficiency.

Marijuana grows wild in all but the coldest climates all around the world and has been used medicinally for treatment of pain and many other disorders for thousands of years.  The first written reference to marijuana, also known as cannabis, for treatment of pain was by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BCE.  Marijuana was in widespread use in the United States as a medicine until 1941, when anti-marijuana crusader Harry Anslinger, then the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, insisted that it be outlawed.

A 2011 review of randomized controlled studies of cannabinoids for treatment of chronic, noncancer pain found significant effects on pain relief as well as significant improvements in sleep. Most of the studies were of neuropathic pain, but one study each of fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis also reported positive results.  No serious adverse effects were reported.

A 2014 survey by the National Pain Foundation of fibromyalgia patients found that 62% of those who tried marijuana said it was very effective at treating their symptoms, 33% said it helped a little and only 5% said it didn’t help at all.

In a 2015 review of controlled studies of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain the authors concluded that cannabinoids provide significant pain relief in chronic neuropathic pain in conditions where other treatments do not work. They found that reported side effects in the reviewed studies were minor.

A survey of 100 consecutive medical marijuana patients who were returning for their annual recertification in Hawaii found that 97% used marijuana primarily for relief of chronic pain. They reported an average 64% decrease in pain—a decrease on a 10-point pain scale from 7.8 to 2.8. Half also reported relief from stress and anxiety; 45% reported insomnia relief; and 71% reported no negative side effects. No serious adverse effects were reported. Some of the patients reported they were able to reduce or eliminate their use of opioids.

Given that marijuana is considerably safer than opioids and can provide significant pain relief, the current preference by medical professionals and regulators for use of opioids not only makes no sense, it is causing unnecessary harm and death.

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95 Responses to "Marijuana vs Opioids for Pain"
  1. Jenifer Bagley says:

    I used it while I did chemotherapy it helped more then the pain killers did it also helped cut out some other meds. I had to take this to take care of one side effect and another for the side effect of another. But the cannabis by far did more for me.

  2. Cat R. says:

    Really? Just one puff? That is just not possible. And smoking is not the best method for medicinal and pain relieving properties. The US was saying marijuana has no medicinal value while owning two patents on it. Now they are running a smear campaign on opioids (which by the way more medical professionals than patients are drug addicts) gearing up to control marijuana as soon as it becomes legal. We all have the right to not live in pain. Right now there is an Assemblyman in Healdsburg, CA, who is already working on legislation to make it illegal to smoke marijuana in your own home.

    • Abby W says:

      Just one puff is possible for those with normal endocrine systems. Not only possible but also very true. If it changes a drug test to positive, the amount is significant enough to have an effect. Period.

    • Sherry says:

      I get pain relief with one or two puffs. I prefer smoking to other methods and it’s cheaper.

    • Michele says:

      My friend has been in agony for four years on Percocet for her fibromyalgia pain. She started with eating it, which gave her relief enough she slept the whole night for the first time in years. Smoking takes 2 puffs, and we’re trying vapor next. She has gotten a lot of relief.
      I also have fibromyalgia and have gone from 150 Norco 10/325 / month to about 15 tabs bc of learning to use medical marijuana instead! I’m not sure that I can ever get off opiates all together but that’s a big drop in
      Norco (hydrocodone)

    • Michele says:

      If you were already a user before the pain then of course your tolerance is higher, but people I know that had never or rarely used pot are getting relief from headaches, back pain, lots of stuff. We still don’t know all of its potential. Oncologist do not think it causes lung cancer and there is evidence is reduces your risk of certain other cancers, i.e. A couple types of breast cancer, so also has preventative qualities… I’m not sure how the cbd works on childhood seizure diseases, however, it’s only used when other meds aren’t effective and it doesn’t help all the kids that try unfortunately.

    • Kellie says:

      All I need is one puff and I’ve been a pot smoker for years. Also I am disabled due to fibromyalgia and am 41 years old. Using prescribed pain meds do not work long term, have to be increased higher and higher over time, are highly addictive and overall a bad idea for longterm chronic pain treatment. I used to be on percocet for years. Now I only use them for surgeries, major flares or other short term issues that warrant pain meds. They work much better when they are not used all the time. I smoke medical grade mj or use the oil. Eases pain, no tolerance issues, helps me sleep and eliminates my anxiety. You have no clue what ur talking about

      • Nkl says:

        Is there a stain that has worked well to decrease pain, anxiety and insomnia.

        • Michele says:

          INDICA…
          IT COMES IN INDICA WHICH AFFECTS YOUR ENTIRE BODY…TYPICALLY SMELLS SKUNKY. SATIVA IS THE OTHER TYPE AND IT MOSTLY HITS THE HEAD…SO NOT GREAT FOR BODY PAIN. IF YOU GO TO A STORE, ASK FOR ADVISEMENT.

      • Jenifer says:

        I hate this alway seems to be a issue of one is better then the other. The purpose of medical care and pain relief should be dependent on what works best for the person and not some popularity contest. I have been on morphine for 16 years and on the same dose the entire time even though my back has gotten worse. I have tried pot with many different strains and none have work. Does that mean if it work well for some people they should not be able to use it? The answer is no. That should be the same opinion with opiates. It should be noted that 85% of those who have abused opiates never got them though a doctor. This is about helping the patient and what is best for them. If that is medical marijuana then it should be used if it is opiates the same thing. The choice should not be determined by the CDC or DEA or politicians but by the patient and doctor.

        • Michele says:

          Actually many addicts STARTED WITH LEGITIMATE PAIN. WHEN the Dr cuts them off then they buy them. When they can’t afford them they buy heroin. But that’s just some people. My opiate dose has been going down as my pain gets better and I’m weaning off opiates. It’s been 10 yrs. once I got the correct dose I was fine. My need did not keep going up once I got on a slow release med. fentanyl patch is great. I have no side effects and no “buzz” just pain control!

      • Michele says:

        That reply was for me? Someone who has been using THC for 35 years? And fibro for 10 yrs… I go thru a lot more than my friends who r newer smokers using it for pain. Perhaps ur unique. I was taking up to 180 NORCO a month until I got the Correct pot. Now I use THC in all forms but No pain pills. No need to be nasty to other people having similar problems!

      • Michele says:

        Apparently not as long as me. I smoke nearly 1/2 oz a week, and I function well. No more NORCO, no more side effects. I get fibro patients onto THC and mostl of them are light weights and do well. Good for u u only need one hit. U do what u need to the rest of us will do what we need to.

      • Michele says:

        I’m 50 and have smoked since 16. I live 10 minutes from one of the best pot shops in the state of CA. It takes a good amt of strong weed to keep me painfree all day

      • Glenna says:

        I has helped me :CBD oil under tongue.

    • Rt012711@gmail.com says:

      Why would someone want to take away a med that works for so many? Evil, malicious….

    • Bobby says:

      Yes one hit and you can feel the effects apparantly you have never tried

    • Lisa says:

      I hope they do something, cause my medicine has been cut back and my pain level stays 8 to 10 all the time and it’s not right for me to have to be in pain cause they take medicine away from people in pain cause of people abuseing,it. It’s just not right.

    • Kris Allan says:

      I agree. I have lupus firbro and rheumatoid arthritis and the doctors prescribe meds I have side affects and take meds for those affects and have to keep the domino affect taking more and more for side affects causing side affects. I do well with edibles and I read eating raw marijuana is very beneficial as well.

  3. Victoria says:

    For the last 10 years of suffering from fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, arthritis and anxiety I was able to wean myself off of opiods and 3 other medicines using cannabis. I’m so happy Oregon has legalized it.

    • Tammy Patrick says:

      I wish Maryland would make it legal. I have everything you have plus hip issues and possible psoriatic arthritis. Ive already been diagnosed with osteo and degenerative arthritis plus a type of bursitis in my hips. The injections from my pain mgmt team at John Hopkins no longer work cause I’ve had so many. I’ve been on Dalaudid for about 15yrs and last year they upped it to 8mg every 6 hours. I try not to take so much but some days are tough. I also am suppose to take 3600mg of gabapentin a day, thats right 3600mg. Thats the highest dose you can take. I would love to see marijuana legalized in every state and i wish the drs would acknowledge its benefits!

      • Sharon says:

        I also take 3600 gabapentin. Among many other things but they have refuse opioid. Thank Heaven. In ohio medical has just been passed. I can’t wait to ask my doctor for the note.

        • Michele says:

          I hope they don’t take forever getting things set up…it was legal in CA medicinally but I was getting it from a friend still for a few years… I’m off my Norco. But my back is so bad still have a fentanyl patch. Still going from over 150 Norco a month to 15 is fabulous in my book. I also had to learn about strains of weed and try out to see what worked on me. Most pain responds to an Indica or a cross of Indica dominant. Sativa is more of a head high. Learn details bc it makes a difference

        • Paula says:

          Wow my friend is in so much pain and lives in ohio. I am too but live in nebraska. So i use kratom. They want to ban it too. Sigh……

        • Sandy says:

          Gabapentin makes me suicidal, and I have terrible side effects with other nerve meds as well. I also suffer with chronic fibromyalgia, and a slew of other chronic pain diseases or illnesses related to it, etc., and I can’t wait till they legalize MMJ in NC. I’m on sooo many meds and I hate putting this poison into my body. JUST LEGALIZE IT ALREADY.

          • Michele says:

            Yes’! GABA is one of those meds u have to keep increasing to maintain effect. Lyrica is the newer gabapentanin…maybe try that

        • Karla says:

          me too Sharon… I take 2400 gabapentin along with a few other meds for Fibro, Lupus, Back pain (I’ve had 5 major Cervial and Lumbar surgeries resulting in fusions), Severe Arthritis, Depression, etc. I live in Ohio as well and look forward to discussing with my Rheum Dr about trying it

      • Kelly says:

        So would I…
        RA
        Fibromyalgia
        CHF
        COPD
        Osteoarthritis
        Degenerative bone disease
        IBS
        IDA (infusion didn’t work)
        I just want sleep and pain free days to share with my grandchildren. In Texas, it is only legal for children who have epilepsy to use medical marijuana.
        Frustrating and idiotic.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I have everything you have and just getting started with mmj. Are there certain strains you would recommend? Do you get better relief from smoking, vaping, oils, medibles?

      • Michele says:

        Everyone is different but I would definitely get pot or pot products from Indica plants or a combo is ok as long as it’s Indica dominant. 2 MAIN TYPES OF POT ARE INDICA (skunky smell) and Sativa… Indica affects the entire body while Sativa tends to be a head high. The stuff is marked in stores but you can ask the people there…larger places seem to know more, then you can branch out. You have to see how you respond to each thing. Becareful not to over do with edibles…there are lots of sites to educate you but if you have Pain, you want Indica dominant weed ?

  4. Idine Michalski says:

    I cut down on opiods by using cannabis. OPIODS live you cluammy, (a hot sweaty preparation all over the body). They also cause severe constipation. They do help with pain, but the side effects of the drug are no fun, plus the deaths of overdose is very high. Adding cannabis has lower my dose of opiods, and I have less pain, but I’m not pain free. Cannabis was labeled as a class (1) drug. The government labeled cannabis as a class one drug to surpress it. In my opinion this was done so the drug Lord’s could control and get rich over their illegal sales.

  5. Shelia says:

    I’m ready to try anything, but I’m Allergic to just about everything but I would be willing to try it if it was a pill or cooked in something l have rheumatoid arthritis disease

    • Cindy Perlin says:

      Smoking or vaporizing marijuana allows better control of dose. You can take just one puff and know your reaction immediately. Ingesting it is much less predictable. See my book, TThe Truth About Chronic Pain Treatments> for more information.

      • beckie says:

        So what in your opinion is correct way of using? My pain management dr and I are talking about this, he explained thc-a is the medical benifit but once you smoke it or burn it over 220° that’s when it turns to just thc and this would be the properties where a person gets the “high/stoned” feelings. Just looking for information and I truly am clueless and our state has legalized it. Will insurance cover any thing as right now it’s paying for everything 100%.

        • Michele says:

          Never heard of insurance paying for pot but I did deduct it from my taxes as medication when I was still working. In CA we go to a dr who gives us a card so we can buy it in any shop. You really have to educate yourself….I agree to start by smoking just a small amt. it wears off faster. If you eat too much and don’t like the head space your in your kind of stuck for a few hours…Then move on to edibles and vapors…vapors are good bc not smokey. Vapor they can control the temp. You need to read like a marijuana for dummies no offense. The info is all out there on the Internet. I’m a RN would Love to start my own counseling group to teach people what I’ve learned over the years.

          • Michelle says:

            Are you a practicing RN, if so how does that effect your employment status. I am an RN also but not working & have thought about this route so I can get back to work.

        • Alice says:

          I have dealt with chronic pain for many years. I had my first back
          surgery at 39 and my third
          one in February. I deal with so much pain you can ever imagine . I a successful business wonan and have raisemy kids and now grandkids. I eat a piece of candy before bed and sleep like a baby. I also use a topical cream whichhelps
          enormously. So it has many uses. I wish you well!! I hope you never have anyone close to you deal with this horrible condition.

      • Vickie says:

        Edibles are processed by the liver. So it’s a more long lasting high. & with the high comes lack of pain. I hadn’t smoked pot in decades. I went to Colorado got some smokable a drink edibles and a rub on, like a tiny deodorant. 160. Dollars later With the rub on there was no THC and it helps muscles not the nerves. When I smoked it it went straight to my head I was a giggly fool. It was the indica. Skunk weee whatever. The drink and edibles were the same I felt it throughout my body. I found that with the drinkable; the first time it made me a bit high. But the next time I had to drink two medicine cupbfuls instead of 1&1/2. Also while taking any I was pain free. I didn’t take my niece my soma or my dilaudid. I didn’t need ibuprofen. But; there is no way in Gods sweet earth I could drive. I couldn’t do simple crafts. So there is impairment. My body is used to me tskkmv pills. Occasionally o will feel it. Also if here in Nevada u have MJ in your system they WILL NOT prescribe medication. Talk to your dr. & make sure what your laws are. My buddy got messed up by a blood test ggstvcamd back positive. Surgery got postponed until itvwas out of his system.

    • Legal non psychoactive CBD provides same benefits with 80% reduction in need for narcotics.

      • Michele says:

        How can u make a blanket statement like that with the small amt of research that’s been done and people all respond differently to medications including pot?
        I got off my pills, but stopped at fentanyl patch…can’t go below where I’m at or too much pain

  6. Alma Acosta says:

    Are they going to make it legal for Lupus patients?

  7. Deborah Coleman says:

    I’ve suffered from chronic fibromyalgia pain for many years. I’m pain free on cannabis. I use a bong before bed. I wake up pain free and work out daily. I was never a smoker. I’m 56 years old. Tell the truth people. I am not a criminal. I’m a patient.

  8. Donna Titus says:

    I am a fibromyalgia patient. I wish it was legal in Texas. I would do anything to get off of my hydracondone. I would do it in a heartbeat.

  9. Lou says:

    I live in chronic pain from a broken back & 3 spinal fusions. Was turned into a pharmaceutical junkie in 2015 my pain management Dr got in trouble with thegovernment for writing too many high level scripts. Which me & my Dr where the first to fall in a long line of dominoes to fall. The government does not want people on opioids for long periods of time. The answer is cannabis but how long do patients have to wait for there state to come on board. If the government took it over we probably wouldn’t have to pay taxes.

  10. Dyna says:

    LOL just a few years ago pot was the gateway drug this person doesn’t even know vicodan and hydrocodone is the same drug…

  11. Tiffany says:

    The problem I have with POT is that it has been proven to be a gateway drug. Yes, it does loose it’s potency over time and people want the next stronger drug. Too many meth users started with pot.

    • Denise says:

      You like many others have fallen for the BS of it being a gateway drug. Absolutely not! What you need to understand is those that continue down the road of hard core drugs would have done so no matter what! They are addicts! It’s within that individual! Not to mention chances are alcohol which is completely legal in all 50 States is most likely the gateway you speak of. Educate yourself instead of believing the BS your being fed.

    • Katherine says:

      I have been using cannabis for pain since I had neck surgery for a compressed spinal cord 8 years ago. I haven’t ever needed to increase my dosage and it is way more effective than the opiates that were prescribed. Cannabis is legitimately the least intoxicating drug I have used for neuropathic pain.

    • johnny says:

      LOOK EVERYBODY. I AM PUSHING 50 AND AM DISABLED AND HAVE BEEN TAKING PAIN MEDS FOR 30. WHEN I WAS 19, I QUIT SMOKING WEED AND DIDNT TOUCH ANYTHING FOR 30 YRS AFTER. AND I STOPPED DRINKING ALCOHOL AT 23 ALSO. SO, AS FAR AS USING ANYTHING TO “GET HIGH” ON, I HAVE NOT IN 27-30YRS. I DID IT BECAUSE I HAD A KID AND WANTED TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE. I WANTED TO BE STRAIGHT LACED AND NOT BE A “LAW BREAKER” BY DRINKING N DRIVING, SMOKIN WEED, OR DOING ANY ILLICIT DRUGS. (I also learned, everyone needs to unwind. I became childcare for my exes, 24/7 365…and i love my kids more than life, but adults need… adult time with other adults)
      NOW HOLD ON, I KNOW WHAT YOU UNEDUCATED PEOPLE ARE THINKING… “HE CLAIMS TO BE STRAIGHT, BUT TAKES PAIN MEDS”.
      YOU’RE EFFN A RIGHT, I AM SAYING THAT. SEVERE CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS DO NOT GET “HIGH” OR ALL EFFED UP ON THEIR PAIN MEDS.
      THE ONES WHO ARE “OUT OF IT”, “ALL EFFED UP” “NODDING OFF ALL THE TIME” “DROPPING CIGS” ETC… ARE THE ABUSERS OF PAIN MEDS. (OPIATES) AND YES, ARE THE JUNKIES THAT SOCIETY HAS BUNCHED IN WITH LAW ABIDING PAIN PATIENTS. DONT YOU THINK THAT IS WRONG? SAD? BAD? WHAT?
      SO HERE IT IS, REAL PAIN PATIENTS DO NOT GET HIGH, THEY GET A LOWER LEVEL OF PAIN, WHICH IN TURN, ALLOWS THEM TO GO FROM CURLING UP IN A BALL, SCREAMING IN PAIN, TO PLAYING WITH THEIR CHILDREN. INTERACTING WITH ADULTS AGAIN. HAVING A SOCIAL OR ANY TYPE OF LIFE AGAIN. AND YES…EVEN RIDE A MOTORCYCLE AGAIN. and so on an so forth…
      HERE COMES THE FUDGE…LOL
      SO, I DECIDED TO GET MY MMJ LICENSE LAST YEAR, JUST TO BE LEGAL, IF I DECIDED TO TRY IT FOR PAIN. OR NOT.
      WELL, TRUTH IS A BITTER PILL FOR MOST, AND THIS IS GOING TO STING THESE “GATEWAY” IMBECILES, PRETTY BADLY.
      I SMOKED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YRS AND IT KNOCKED THE FIBRO ON ITS ASS. NO PAIN MED HAD EVER DONE SO MUCH GOOD FOR MY OVERALL ISSUES. OMG… FIBRO RELIEF!!!
      AND GOING FROM EXTREME INSOMNIA FOR LAST 4 YRS, (20-90MINUTES) TO BEING ABLE TO SLEEP AT WILL AND FOR HOURS (4-7HOURS) WHEN I MEDICATE WITH MMJ. THUS, IN WAKING FROM GETTING HOURS OF DEEP REGENERATIVE SLEEP, YOU FEEL SO MUCH BETTER THE NEXT DAY. IT IS A GODSEND. TRULY. OPIATES ARE ALSO, BUT NOT TO PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH. AS RX’D ONLY.
      NOW, I STILL NEED MY PAIN MED, BUT I AM ANOTHER CASE OF BEING ON 2 DIFFERENT OPIATES AND A LITERAL SMORGASBOARD OF OTHER PILLS THAT BIG PHARMA PAYS DOCTORS TO PUSH ON US…TO ONE SINGLE TYPE OF PILL, PERIOD.
      NOW, COULD I MEDICATE WITH MMJ AND RIDE A MOTORCYCLE? MAYBE. WOULD I TEMPT FATE? NOPE. BUT MY PAIN PILL WILL ALLOW ME TO DO SO FOR A BIT, WITHOUT BEING HIGH.
      LISTEN PEOPLE, MMJ CAN GET YOU OFF MOST MEDS AND WILL ALLOW YOU TO CUT DOWN ON THE ONES YOU STILL HAVE TO TAKE. IM PROOF OF THIS.
      NOW, I HAVE TO GET REAL WITH THESE GATEWAY MOFOS.
      HAVE YOU EVER SEEN OR HEARD OF ANYONE SMOKING WEED AND BEATING THEIR OL LADY?
      HAVE YOU EVER SEEN OR HEARD OF ANYONE SMOKING WEED AND HOPPING IN A CAR IN A RAMPAGE AND WIND UP KILLING INNOCENTS?
      OR SMOKING WEED AND WANTING TO GO DO COCAINE OR METH OR HEROIN?
      NO, YOU HAVE NOT. EVER!!!
      INCLUDE THE TRUE AND ONLY GATEWAY DRUG, AND YES.
      OR AS A STAND ALONE DRUG…HELL YES.
      BUT WAIT….SSSSHH!!!! WE MUSTNT SPEAK OF IT…IT IS LEGAL AND SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE BY THE MAJORITY…HEY YOU…come here…im gonna whisper it to you so no one can hear…and we dont have to embarrass you for being ignorant and a sheep to the media for the past 70yrs…
      its…its ALCOHOL!!! YOU FOOL!!!!!
      YA, I LIED. I YELLED IT AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS.
      ALCOHOL IS

      THE

      GATEWAY DRUG. IM TIRED OF OUR “FREE” SOCIETY BEING A BUNCH OF GOVT AND MEDIA LED SHEEP. IT PISSES ME OFF. DO YOU REALIZE THE HELL IVE BEEN LIVING FOR ALL THESE YEARS, JUST BECAUSE I DIDNT WANT TO BE A LAW BREAKER AND SMOKE WEED? ABOUT 30 TOO MANY!
      So before you judge or condemn or pass judgement…u best b able to cast the first stone…(and be able to back up wtf you spew out the side of yer mouth at and about, people who need medicine, whether opiate or cannabinoid or both…because the truth is being spoken and YOU have no choice now, but to listen to it. Not what some billionaire almost 100yrs ago, had made a schedule 1 drug, by falsifications and scare tactics thru the media, all to make the rich…that much richer.
      DO YOU WANT TO BE A SHEEP TIL THE DAY YOU DIE? OR DO YOU WANT TO BE EDUCATED AND TRUTH SEEKERS TO BETTER OUR PLANET, IF NOT FOR ME, IF NOT FOR YOU…DO IT FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT YET FOR THEMSELVES…THE CHILDREN OF TOMORROW.
      Do you want your kids and grandkids going thru this crap we are, just right here on this post? I know i do not. Ever.
      Stop the holier than thou bullshit.
      Educate before you stipulate.
      And remember, as some like to calm down with a drink or ten..others may like to puff a doob.
      So what. Is it really anyones business what anyone does, so long as its not causing others harm?
      i got more…but feel its time to break. Hurtn too bad now.
      PEACE ALL. and together, we can make jt a better place.

      • Hope says:

        I am so grateful to hear someone speak the truth here! Yes, mmj offers safe pain relief! No. It does NOT make anyone want to run out and rob a gas station or try cocaine! Alcohol is PROVEN to be a gateway drug, and yes THAT is legal. The whole gateway argument makes me angry too! Another desperate chronically ill, chronic pain patient AND good parent, friend and person here!

    • johnny says:

      hey all, I have to leave another post. I will say this again…please get your facts straight before you post. you don’t want to look like and uneducated fool by saying drug names that you have no idea what they are what classifications there in or anything of the sort.
      I’m not trying to be a dick I’m trying to help you and save you from embarrassment. And the same thing with people calling marijuana a gateway drug. Alcohol is the only gateway drug, and it is the only drug where when consumed, people want to go out and do other drugs. Mainly the speedier ones like cocaine, Adderall, meth, Etc.
      And yes, I have seen many times where people have been drinking and doing cocaine, smoke weed to come down on. But I have never seen anybody smoke weed by itself and want to do any other drugs. EVER! a
      As for condemning opiates or MM,J come on people!!! As a chronic pain patient you shouldn’t be condemning anyone or anything that’s helping people. That is what we are here for, to give people who are suffering like we are, a better quality of life. Now for me, I have to do both and it works. Works way better than either alone…AND WITH MMJ…NO CLOCK WATCHING. U KNOW…WAITING FOR THAT TIME WHEN U CAN TAKE YOUR MEDS…YOUR BODY WILL TELL YOU WHEN ITS TIME USING MMJ. AND YES…IT IS ALWAYS THE FULL LENGTH OR LONGER THAN SCHEDULEF TIME TO TAKE THEM.
      SO IN FACT, NOT THEORY, FACT…USING BOTH IS SAFER AND RISK OF OD GOES DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY.
      If you can get away with one or the other, good for you, but I do recommend anybody that hasn’t tried MMJ to try it. And yes, just one Puff… and those of you that say just one don’t do anything… you must be smoking pencil shavings my friend.

  12. Shelli says:

    Dyna,
    Hydrocodone and Vicodin are not the same thing. Vicodin and Oxycodone are the same thing. Hydrocodone isn’t as strong as Vicodin or Oxycodone.

    • Julie says:

      You have them backwards, Shelli. Oxy is Percocet, hydro is Vicodin.

    • brenda pickering says:

      I have to disagree..I have been on pain meds for 15 yrs..just now trying to wean off with marijuana.
      Hydrocodone is the generic equivalent to Vicodin…
      Oxycodone is the generic equivalent to Percocet…
      I’ve taken them all for years…

  13. Sarah says:

    Shelli, Hydrocodone is vicoden look it up. Oxycodone is oxycodone. Oxycodone is stronger then Hydrocodone aka vicoden. Percocets are Oxycodone with added acetaminophen aka Tylenol

  14. CH says:

    I have been on 4 kinds of meds for 5 years and smoking . I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome , Lupus and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease . I am on probation in Texas and came out positive on a drug test for Marijuana . I stopped smoking 8 months ago and now I am on 19 different prescriptions including 6 or 7 for pain, 2 failed nerve blocks and several failed iinjections . When I smoked I had less pain, I was able to sleep , I actually had more energy because I wasn’t in pain from barely moving .

  15. judi says:

    I am very curious about this. My question is, is it better use the indica strain, or sativa, for pain management?

  16. Angela says:

    You have so much misinformation in here! Unfrigginbelievable!

    I’ll outline every one WITH FACTS if you’d like.

  17. Concerned says:

    Many patients do fine on opioid pain medications, but because of others’ illegitimate use, now pain patient’s medicines are in jeopardy. While I know there is big money to be made in the MMJ industry, the continual demonizing and maligning of these medicines , that have been in use since the 1950s, is misguided and harmful. There is a push to downright remove opioid pain medications and offer ONLY either practically useless ‘alternative’ treatments OR MMJ. This ‘cornering of the market’ by force is harmful and inhumane. Many patients don’t do well on MMJ, yet with articles like this, it only serves as more ammunition to pain patients who are already on thin ice with all the hoopla from the CDC, FDA, DEA, and all media. Pain patients just want relief. Only a small portion,less than 2%, have any addiction, and there’s always some rehab available. The real problem is addicts using illegally gotten prescription pain medicines, NOT patients. Time to start speaking the truth, not some kind of government/big money propaganda.

  18. Judy says:

    So instead of using the opioids cause we know they work, the government would rather have a bunch of pot heads running around? Follow the money people, wake up and smell the roses! Chronic pain patients need medication for their pain! Yeah maybe a puff here or there might help lessen the pain, but there is no cure, and I don’t believe marjiuana is the answer!

  19. Brooke says:

    You have A LOT of inaccuracies above, that need to be corrected. A small percentage of chronic pain patients become addicted to their medication. Research varies. Some research states as low as 3%. Other research states 8-12%. Before I had to stop working due to medical issues, I was a pharmacy tech. There is NO ONE in the medical community that would agree that 200 mg of ibuprofen provides the same relief as a shot of 10 mg of morphine.

    The millions of Americans that are addicted aren’t chronic pain patients. There is a war against chronic pain patients. People with serious, debilitating, painful diseases and conditions. Chronic pain patients have tried EVERYTHING and have intractable pain–meaning pain medications are the only option. Due to the DEA crackdown and CDC guidelines, doctors have cut patients off their medications or drastically reduced their dosage…which means more pain and a poor quality of life.

    Accidental overdoses usually occur when a person takes more than one drug. Toxicology reports indicate multiple drugs in the person’s system. Again, these aren’t chronic pain patients. You also need to account for suicides…and coroners that DON’T take into account that the person was a chronic pain patient. When the toxicology reports come back, and there’s a high level, of let’s say morphine, in the person’s system, the coroner may simply state the cause of death is an “accidental overdose.” The amount of morphine that would kill an opioid naive patient, would not kill a chronic pain patient. Studies have shown coroners have not taken into account the person was a chronic pain patient when doing an autopsy. The statistics are skewed.

    Pain medications help people in chronic pain–that is a fact. I’m not sure how “one puff of marijuana” can stop a person’s pain? You have a lot of flawed information above, which makes me doubt the validity of everything else you say. I am NOT against the use of marijuana. It should be legal in all 50 states. Marijuana helps a lot of people with a variety of conditions. But you can’t give out inaccurate information about pain medication to bring attention to the benefits of marijuana. Marijuana isn’t an option for a lot of people because it’s not legal in their state. And when it is legal, people have a hard time getting approved to use it medicinally. So, should they buy marijuana off of a drug dealer?

    There are 100 million people in America with chronic pain, myself included. The majority of chronic pain patients take their medication responsibly and do NOT become addicted. Using scare tactics and inaccurate information is not the correct way to promote a book. I suggest that you do research on chronic pain patients and opioids. I am an ambassador for the US Pain Foundation, I run a support group, and a FB page for pain advocacy and chronic pain. I can provide you with actual research, studies, and statistics based on chronic pain patients..NOT people with addictions. Again, I am 100% for the use of marijuana and legalization in all 50 states..but you need to give the public correct information.

  20. Anne Fuqua says:

    Unfortunately cannabis doesn’t work for everyone. It did NOTHING for me, but opioids have helped me tremendously. I want patients to have access to both cannabis and opioids. I’ve worked REALLY hard to advocate for medical marijuana. I get so frustrated when I hear cannabis supporters speaking negatively about the one thing that helps me, opioids. Just a few years ago the cannabis advocates were the ones who were maligned and desperate for support. Now the situation has changed.

  21. Jean says:

    I have restless leg and neoropathy, 2 puffs tske them both away, sode effects, so hungry,

  22. I have donated time for 20 years as an online peer-to-peer support site volunteer with thousands of chronic pain patients. Among that population, I have talked with quite a few people who found relief from smoked Marijuana, Cannabis oils, or THC extract. There is certainly reason for more and better research on the mechanisms and effectiveness of these aids. Overdose statistics are definitely an indicator of value in States where Marijuana is now legal.

    That said, I offer two notes of caution:

    (1) Like all other treatments, marijuana doesn’t work for all people all of the time. It’s not a panacea, despite its relatively minor side effects. And there is a long term risk of mental health problems when adolescents abuse marijuana at high doses persistently while their brains are still forming. This risk may not be high, but it isn’t zero either.

    (2) Although your mention of opioid addiction issues is marginal to your central thesis, it is a mistake to accept at face value the assertions we hear of an “epidemic” of prescription opioid deaths. The epidemic is largely a mythology and a distortion of statistics actually caused by street Heroin and synthetic opioids like Fentanil that cannot be distinguished chemically from prescribed substances.

    The problem with prescription opioids isn’t that they are addictive to chronic pain patients. Addiction is not common among people who are initially screened for drug problems and then managed with appropriate oversight for an actual chronic pain condition. Of much greater concern is diversion of prescribed opioids by theft, or the patient simply giving unused meds to someone else who doesn’t have a chronic pain condition.

    This is a useful article, Cindy. But I encourage you to strive for more precision in your conclusions.

    • Brooke says:

      Nicely stated. All this inaccurate information being given out about opioids and skewed statistics are making it even harder for chronic pain patients. Chronic pain patients are treated like addicts…forced to have drug tests, pill counts, and most states have a prescription monitoring system, where doctors can see every prescription that is filled, the date it was filled, the doctor who wrote the prescription, and the pharmacy the prescription was filled at. Those measures along with doctors screening patients for addiction, along with certain behaviors an addict displays, it makes it very difficult for an addict to go unnoticed.

      As you stated, there are some risks, even with marijuana. Marijuana doesn’t help everyone. Some chronic pain patients add marijuana to the medications they’re taking. In a lot of the states, marijuana isn’t even an option for chronic pain patients. Even in the states where medical marijuana is legal, patients aren’t getting approved for a medical marijuana card. Plus, it’s expensive.

      It’s frustrating that chronic pain patients are being forced to suffer. Opioids are being denied to those who take them responsibly..people write articles and the media gives out inaccurate information, which makes this war on chronic pain patients even harder to fight.

  23. Raven Whitewolf says:

    I’m on high dose opioid pain medication and, when my state made medicinal marijuana legal, I had high hopes that I’d be able to stop taking opioids by using MMJ. But my hopes were quickly dashed. I tried over 100 different strains, with differing degrees of THC/CBD combos, and finally came to the conclusion that unless I intended to remain high as a kite 24/7, and be unable to function, there was no way cannabis would ever replace my opioid pain relievers. The hype had just been that – hype. Although it does help with breakthrough pain in taking the knife’s edge off, MMJ has never on its own taken my pain down to even a tolerable level. It does cause relaxation, which helps with stress and indirectly with muscle tension, but does little to alleviate bone-on-bone torturous, chronic pain. I also discovered to my dismay that I got severe muscle spasms, which made my pain 100x worse, if I used any strain with too high of a THC to CBD ratio. Again, dozens of different strains gave the same results. So while MMJ would become a tool to help me deal with my chronic pain, it wasn’t the savior that all of the people – people I later realized just wanted it to becone legal – claimed it would be. It’s unfortunate articles are still being written erroneously claiming marijuana will help all chronic pain patients alleviate their pain and will help them stop taking opioids. Beyond being irresponsible and incorrect, it’s harmful to those who get their hopes up for a miracle.

    • Brooke says:

      I’m sorry that you suffer from chronic pain too. Nobody understands how much we truly suffer. While medical marijuana JUST became legal in my state, it will take up to 2 years to set up dispensaries …even then, we have one option, which is to use the marijuana in vapor form. I also think that most people who apply for a card will be denied. I agree that in cases where someone has intractable pain, marijuana may be beneficial for breakthrough pain, to ease anxiety, induce sleep, etc..But to replace opioids? I don’t think so..unless someone has mild-moderate pain. Since the DEA crackdown and CDC guidelines, my pain is under treated. I know that my pain will not be properly treated. I would try marijuana, in an attempt, to lessen my pain. (That is IF I get approved for a medical marijuana card.) But, it will not replace the pain medications I’m currently taking. Being an advocate for chronic pain patients, I cannot stand all the incorrect information and skewed statistics that is being given out to the public. In this case, to promote a book.

      • Beyan says:

        I’m a chronic pain patient for last 24 years. I take 40 mg oxycontin 3x a day , hydrocodone 10 mg 3x aday and clonazepam 1mg3x a day. Now the opiods help me more than anything.I use to smoke cannabis and all of a sudden one day it caused my anxiety to hit the ceiling. Yes it did help with the pain for a break through, and I did taper down on the opiods, but not enough to completely give them up for cannabis. And I loved the way it helped me sleep through the night. But as I said it just one day caused my anxiety to get worse, almost a paranoid feeling. I tried numerous types , but it was the same outcome. Now if I could find a type that would help my pain and not increase my anxiety, then you bet is smoke it in a heart beat. But one problem if my pain management dr.tested me and I had thc in my system they’d stop my meds.So I’m not willing to lose them for cannabis. Unless they made it legal to take both. I completely an for legalizing it. But just can’t take that chance of losing meds. I have had 5 back surgeries , fbs now. Knew surgery ,and have need of a hip surgery. So unless you can tell me how to get meds and tell me of a strain that would help without the increased anxiety, then I guess I’m stuck with having to just take opiods. Would love to lower or stop use of opiods but just don’t see it in my future.

        • Beyan says:

          Correction I meant to say be able to get meds and cannabis at same time, WITHOUT getting in trouble for using cannabis, or tell me of a way to not get in trouble for it.I’m open to anyway of helping relieve my chronic pain,exception being getting in trouble for it or losing opiods, ,,,,unless there is a strain I’m not aware of that would completely control my pain. It’s been about 20 years since I last smoked it, so I’m kinda behind in times. Any info would be appriciated.

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  26. Amy Mellen says:

    I’m am a cannabis newbie in the last 18 months, who healed herself from 10+ years of opiates, and all but one pharmaceutical; I am now one year opiate FREE, and I have dropped 191 lbs!!! I continue to heal myself daily, control my chronic nerve pain and quiet my PTSD (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome); all with cannabis and other non-cannabis plant-based products. My healing journey is very involved and contains a story within a story; spanning over the last 6 years.

    If you get a chance, check out my healing journey at https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2660744577296488&id=100000829162489&refid=17&ref=bookmarks&_ft_=og_action_id.2660744597296486%3Atop_level_post_id.2660744577296488%3Atl_objid.2660744577296488%3Athid.100000829162489%3A306061129499414%3A2%3A0%3A1472713199%3A-5565245845419391064&__tn__=%2As

    I’ve been blessed to have two articles written about my transformation, and what role cannabis and plant healing play in my life. The first is in the online version of Dope Magazine; written by Abigail Ross.  Abigail uses my healing as an axanple of what cannabis could do, as a protocol for substance abuse. You can find it at http://www.dopemagazine.com/amy-mellen-conquering-addiction/

    The second article just published August 9th in the online publication of Herb; written by Chris Teague. Chris did a beautiful job blending his talents and my words. It’s an in-depth look at where I’ve been, what I fought thru and how I healed myself with this incredible plant: http://herb.co/2016/08/09/amy-mellen/

    I’ve also been able to share my story on podcasts recently:

    My website will be up and running soon: http://www.onebeautifulhotmess.com
    Feel free to follow me on Instagram amyjean543, Twitter amymellen_obhm and Snapchat at amyjean543
    ****Be patient with me, I’m still learning this technology thing, after coming out of my fog, it’s a challenge ??

  27. Peter says:

    You pretty much lost me at:
    “200mg of ibuprofen provides as much pain relief as a 10mg morphine shot”

    I kept on reading out of curiosity as to what other nonsense would be put forth in your “article” which appears to be more an advertisement for your book than anything of merit.

    Pot seems to help some people but as a MMJ patient I need to say that it often initially increases my pain before the relaxation sets in.

    Like anything else, it may work for some but it is not effective for everyone. In some instances it can also de-motivate and cause extreme lethargy.
    As with all drugs there are side effects which vary in kind and intensity depending on many factors.
    Also, as noted by at least one comment here, it can produce unpredictable adverse reactions (ie extreme anxiety) even after seemingly benign long term use.
    I use it along with a prescribed opioid but use it sparingly and cautiously as it is quite unpredictable in it’s effects.

    One of the most serious problems with MMJ is the lack of availability (on a consistent basis) of strains found to be particularly helpful…especially affordable Indica.

  28. Tammie says:

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  29. Deanna says:

    I live in a state which will probably be the lat to legalize it. I take 24 pills a day and still suffer. I know for a fact that if it were legal I’d give it a try. We discuss moving but can’t risk losing my husbands pension he works so hard for.

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  31. Allyson says:

    I am in Texas with chronic nerve damage pain, cervical compression damage pain, constant migraine pain & fibromyalgia pain. I can’t work, I’m lucky to get 6-8 hours of sleep per week (sometimes in even two weeks), I am in debt because doctors have tried treating it but are screwing around taking their time and have now been dealing with it for almost 6 years. I am in so much pain to the point where I’m willing to try anything. My pain meds (1800mg/day Gabapentin, 700-1025mg/day Hydrocodone & 700-1025mg/day Isometh) do literally nothing for me but the doctors won’t take me off them cause they want to at least appear like they’re actually treating me. I am in so much pain I am crying more than half the time and I’m only 21. I hate living in Texas with its strict laws case if I could I would try this instead of a pointless pill popping schedule with medications that are doing more harm than good for my body and not helping at all…

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  36. Cathy says:

    I use Norco 10/325 for many years I also smoke a Lil marijuana and have done so for quite a while. It helps me sleep. It does not help with my pains much but I don’t want to increase my pain medication. I don’t like taking too many pills anyway, but without my pain medication I couldn’t move, it’s hard enough to walk now with all the problems with my back. I also have lupus, fibro, vertigo seizures etc…..I rather smoke.a.lil weed with my pains medicine to get a Lil relief. Sometimes a Lil relief can make a person’s day. Each person have different needs and levels of pain.

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