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Tuesday, April 24 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
The Opioid Epidemic In The United States: A Solution In Cannabis, Moving From “Gateway Drug” To “Exit Drug”

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A large population within the United States of America has fallen to the grips of a growing health crisis, opioid addiction. According to recent data, during 2015 there were approximately 52,404 overdose deaths in the United States, with 33,091 as a result of opioids. Not only is the tragedy of death rampant, but also even more disconcerting is the economic and social toll impacting families across the nation. The purpose of my research is to examine and better understand the application medical marijuana may have in combating this crisis. Traditionally, due to education and government policies, medical professionals have often prescribed opioids for pain management, with little consideration for alternative approaches. After reading over 12 scholarly articles and peer reviewed journals I have found a promising potential for medical marijuana in relation to the opioid crisis. The least psychoactive cannabinoids present in cannabis is CBD, meaning it does not get users “high”, unlike the more commonly known cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This fact gives CBD the highest potential for medical application and use in treating substance abuse. Many experimental studies that have indicated support for the application of CBD in treating behaviors associated with addiction. Clinical research applied to cannabis in regards for managing chronic pain has extensively indicated that cannabis is safe and effective as a treatment option. One drug can rarely treat all aspects of a condition, including chronic pain; this opens the door for the potential of using cannabis in conjunction with opioids to treat pain. Research has indicated that the introduction to cannabis for treating chronic pain has the potential to result in reduction or even complete termination of opioid use. I believe that the medical and social potential of cannabis should be further discussed in regards to the opioid crisis.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm PDT
Sherrill Center Concourse

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