Why cannabinoids are better painkillers than opioids?

For a long time now opioids have been in use as painkillers due to their ability to relax the body and relieve pain. Opioids contain chemicals that bind with opioid receptors on the cells located in the brain, spinal cord, and other organs. When opioids attach to these receptors they inhibit the signal transmissions from brain to body.

Also, opioids release a huge amount of dopamine on each use which compels its users to take more and hence causes addiction. 

Some of the common opioid prescriptions are:

  • Hydrocodone / Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl 

A common misuse of opioids

Usually, opioids are safe if taken in the controlled amount, prescribed by the doctor. But things go wrong when people start misusing the drug for their relief. For example:

  • When an individual start taking medicine more than the prescribed dose
  • When an individual takes someone else’s medicine
  • When an individual takes medicine for the sole purpose of getting high

Techniques people use to misuse prescription opioids  

  • By swallowing the medicine 
  • By crushing the pills, dissolving them in water, and then injecting that into their veins 
  • By crushing the pills or capsules and snorting the powder.

Addiction from opioids


One of the biggest drawbacks of opioid use has to be its addiction which happens through regular use. The continuous use of opioids can cause the person taking it to get substance use disorder, which is a kind of mental illness that ranges from mild to severe and can last temporarily or even for a longer period.

Some of the opioids withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Muscle pain 
  • Sleeping problems 
  • Vomiting 
  • Cold flashes 
  • Leg shaking 
  • Severe cravings 
  • Bone pain

These symptoms are also the reason why people find it extremely difficult to stop using opioids. The majority of opioid addicts will only find success in recovery through a combination of inpatient detox and treatment, outpatient treatment and support, and a combination of after-care that may involve sober living, transitional housing, and a variety of community-based support groups. Other even more effective inpatient treatment options include gender-specific facilities such as mens inpatient rehab facilities.

Cannabinoids medications

Cannabinoids are compounds derived from the cannabis plant that affect the body and brain. Its two major compounds are known as CBD and THC but its other minority groups are also effective and are used in various ways.

Medications approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are:

THC medication

  • Dronabiol 
  • Nabilone


Both of these meds are used by doctors to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

CBD medication

  • Epidiolex


This medication was used for two seizure conditions which are Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

Factors that make cannabinoids a better option

You’ll be happy to know that there is promising research that shows the benefit of THC use for neuropathic pain. According to the research, even a small amount of THC can help in decreasing chronic neuropathic pain.

People prefer cannabinoids over opioids because:

  • Cannabinoids cause less severe side effects
  • The overall result of CBD and THC are far better than those of opioids medicine 
  • The withdrawal symptoms are very less severe from opioids 
  • Cannabinoids or marijuana-related products are comparatively easy to get as compared to opioid medication

Cannabinoids as a less addictive choice

  • Cannabinoids and opioids, when you compare the both you’ll see that there is a huge difference between the two when it comes to the matter of dependency.
  • The addiction caused by opioids is far greater and more dangerous than that of cannabis. That’s because even less than 10% of cannabis users out there develop substance use disorder in their entire lifetime.
  • Whereas people who take opioids usually develop physical dependence within just a couple of weeks. Some scientists believe that even the first dose of opioids can cause a physiological effect that later develops into opioid use disorder.
  • But even after all that one main factor that separates the two is the rate of death due to overdose.
  • There are many cases where overdosing on opioids has resulted in sudden death but it is a very rare case scenario for cannabis users. Till now there has been no reported death due to overdosing on cannabis.

Benefits of medical marijuana

Benefits of medical marijuana.jpg

If you have been considering getting an MMJ card just because it is not habit-forming then these benefits will surely compel you to get one:

  • Medical marijuana helps with pain management of issues like arthritis, migraine, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, etc. 
  • Cannabis helps to reduce inflammation 
  • It helps to improve neurological and other mental illness-related disorders 
  • It helps in better sleep management

Other techniques to deal with pain

  • Massage therapy 
  • Yoga 
  • Stretching 
  • Chiropractor adjustments 
  • Mind-body techniques

Bottom line

Cannabis has the potential to replace Opioids, used for pain treatment and there are many research articles backing that fact up. Also, opioid addiction is very hard to deal with, which means professional help is needed to stop opioid drug abuse. Especially in case, you want to fight opioid addiction with cannabis or medical marijuana.

In case you want the latter you can reach out to your nearest marijuana doctors in Oklahoma and get their guidance on what to do and how cannabis can help with your condition.

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