Top 5 Reasons Why Cannabis is Superior to Pharmaceuticals
Using cannabis medicinally dates back thousands of years. Humans beings have recognized the plant for its many benefits since its usage by ancient Chinese emperors.
From Parkinson’s Disease to Psoriasis; Cancer to Multiple Sclerosis; the list of ailments cannabis can help to treat is near endless. Many of the harsh symptoms shared across the board by these diseases, like pain or nausea, are usually treated by a variety of pharmaceuticals. The case for choosing marijuana over prescription drugs is vast. Here we will discuss just five reasons why cannabis is the better option.
Less Side Effects
Those dealing with chronic diseases have enough going on without having to worry about a slew of additional effects being brought on by their medications. Some cancer drugs, for example, bring on episodes of severe nausea. Marijuana can help to bring back cancer patients’ appetites. It can also help with pain and other lasting effects of the illness without the need for additional prescriptions that could in turn just cause more side effects.
One particular disease that cannabis is great at treating is anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most overprescribed ailments currently afflicting the United States. Benzodiazepines are doctors go-to answer for those with the troubling problem.
Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults filling a prescription for a benzodiazepine increased from 8.1 million to 13.5 million, while the total quantity of pills given out through prescription more than tripled in number, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. This means benzos are being prescribed more, and taken more.
This is likely because benzos can be extremely addictive – a problem you won’t run into with marijuana. Although you might instead become “addicted” to your favorite kind of munchy.
When we speak of prescription drug usage, the topic of overdose deaths has to follow.
According to the US Department of Justice’s 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment, “every year since 2001, CPDs, specifically opioid analgesics5 have been linked to the largest number of overdose deaths of any illicit drug class, outpacing those for cocaine and heroin combined.”
In its entire known history, marijuana has never been the cause of a single overdose death, since you can’t technically overdose on it. The biggest problem you’d have to worry about here is possibly ingesting so much that you fall asleep.
In some cases, marijuana may actually better treat some diseases.
In a recent study on cancerous mice, researchers found that a combination of CBD and chemotherapy actually led to longer lives than treatment of just chemotherapy on its own. The study was conducted on mice with pancreatic cancer.
This particular form of cancer has seen little progress in treatment in the last 40 years and the five-year survival rate is still at about 5 percent, according to the study. The researchers used a combination of CBD and GEM (one of the most common medicine in treating Pancreatic Cancer) and found survival rates tripled compared to the mice given just GEM alone.
Take on Big Pharma
One of the greatest reasons to choose cannabis over prescription drugs is the great challenge it proposes to the pharmaceutical industry. In 2016, the US share of the global pharmacy market was valued at over $446 billion. This is money that goes straight into the pockets of shareholders and is very rarely turned back around into communities.
On the other hand, Colorado is a great example of how tax revenue on marijuana can be used to fight other social issues such as homelessness. In fact, the total revenue was just under $250 million in 2017. This money was used to fund all kinds of social government programs and is likely to continue to increase in future years.
Wouldn’t it make more sense if the bigger number was going towards the more moralistic distribution? With more states looking to follow this example, this could be an actual reality.
As if all this weren’t enough, the list of reasons why cannabis is superior to prescription drugs can continue to include things like reduced gang violence and less cost to government healthcare with programs such as Medicaid.
Current data published in JAMA Internal Medicine, has shown that states who have easier regulations on marijuana tend to also have lower prescription drug use. So maybe the answer is more de-regulation and the choice will be clear to many others.
Whatever your choice, please be safe and don’t abuse any drugs.