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Why You Should Use Medical Marijuana Over Opiates for Pain

There are many good reasons to use medical marijuana over opiate-based medications for pain treatment. Opiates are highly addictive, can be dangerous, and can make you feel awful with its numerous side effects. Medical marijuana has been shown to be a much safer alternative for treating pain because of how safe it is compared to opiates. Conditions like endometriosis and interstitial cystitis are good examples of where medical marijuana is a much safer choice for pain treatment. Let’s look into how medical marijuana works and how it can help ease some of these conditions below.

The Endocannabinoid System

Not a lot is known about the endocannabinoid system but here’s a short list of what is known. This system is already shown to have enzymes for breaking down marijuana and receptors that use the endocannabinoid from this process. 

  • Plays a role in regulating things like sleep and appetite
  • The 2 key endocannabinoids are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)
  • Seems to regulate homeostasis

The last key takeaway is important. The endocannabinoid system influences the body’s homeostasis or “balance”. While there is continuing research on the topic,  studies have already shown medical marijuana to be highly effective in things like pain management and inflammation.

Chronic pain and medical marijuana

Opiate-based medication is extremely addictive and often leads to unintended side-effects for the person using it. Since medical marijuana is back by research it is becoming a popular option for people with conditions that cause chronic pain. Interstitial cystitis is an example of one of these conditions. It’s basically the inflammation of the bladder and it can be painful. Medical marijuana can be used to treat the pain in this case without risking addiction. A person could safely stop using medical marijuana after their condition clears up without any risk of forming an addiction or overdosing.


Medical marijuana is a great alternative over opiates. Marijuana doesn’t have the addictive nature and other issues that opiates have. Medical marijuana may be the right thing for you if you suffer from a condition like interstitial cystitis and have chronic pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, click here to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to learn if you qualify for medical marijuana.

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