Marijuana is a Safe Alternative to Opioid Pain Medication
The CDC Consider Must Consider Marijuana as Medicine

Marijuana as an Alternative to Opioid Pain Medication

Marijuana as an Alternative to Opioid Pain Medication

Marijuana is a Safe Alternative to Opioid Pain Medication
The CDC Consider Must Consider Marijuana as Medicine
By Ellen Lenox Smith


Presently in our country, those that are successfully using opioids for pain relief are feeling stigma and shame, largely due to fears about addiction and overdose. Pain patients often have to cope with physicians who are reluctant to prescribe opioids and pharmacies that are sometimes unwilling to fill their prescriptions. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is considering new guidelines that would encourage doctors to shift even further away from prescribing opioids, leaving the patient with little effective medication to turn to.


Why is the CDC not even considering the use of medical marijuana to help these people in need?


The Boston Herald recently reported that hundreds of opioid addicts are being treated successfully in Massachusetts with medical marijuana. “We have a statewide epidemic of opioid deaths,” said Dr. Gary Witman of Canna Care Docs, which issues medical marijuana cards in seven states. “As soon as we can get people off opioids to a non-addicting substance — and medicinal marijuana is non addicting — I think it would dramatically impact the amount of opioid deaths.”

Witman is treating about 80 patients at a Canna Care clinic who are addicted to opioids, muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety medications. After enrolling them in a one-month tapering program and treating them with cannabis, Witman says more than 75 percent of the patients have stopped taking the harder drugs. Medical marijuana provided pain relief, along with reduced anxiety,and is far safer than opioid pain medication.

Patients across the country are also learning they can use cannabis for pain relief, decreasing or even eliminating their use of opioid pain medication.  Marijuana works far better than other substitutes since it is not synthetic and does not cause organ damage or deaths like opioids can in some circumstances. Medical marijuana works naturally on what is known as the “endocannabinoid system,” binding to neurological receptors in the brain that control appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory.

Here in Rhode Island, my husband and I have witnessed the amazing transition of pain patients on opioids that chose to transition to medical marijuana.  Most that turn to cannabis to eliminate the side effects of opioids and concerns about their long term use. Chronic pain patients achieve pain relief in a safer manner — no organ damage, no teeth getting destroyed, no concerns of addiction and no deaths.

Marijuana may still be illegal at the federal level, but it is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, and millions of people are discovering its therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana. The CDC should add medical marijuana to the list of “non-opioid” therapies in its guidelines.



along with your short BIO & A PRICELESS FREE LINK.

[contact-form-7 id=”9838″ title=”Article & Photo Submission”]



Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. In addition to their work for the U.S. Pain Foundation, as Co-Directors for Medical Marijuana Advocacy, they also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. Ellen wrote a book about her journey as a Pain Warrior, It Hurts Like Hell!” For more information about medical marijuana and how to convert it to other forms of administering besides smoking, visit their website.


The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of this website. Medical marijuana is legal in some U.S. states but is still technically illegal under federal law. Even in states where it is legal, doctors may frown upon marijuana and drop patients from their practice for using it.


[contact-form-7 id=4913 title="Javo Contact Form"]