Blog Menu

Big Pharma and Cannabis

by Christy Coy 4 min read

Big Pharma and Cannabis

The Number of Prescriptions That Cannabis Could Replace, and Why Big Pharma is Worried.

Modern medicine has made a lot of advances, but in some cases, it is healthier to take the more natural route. Some medicines have unpleasant side effects or are extremely expensive. Medicines can also become addictive, leading to a lifetime habit that affects everyone around you.

Medicine is a wonderful thing but needs to be moderated like anything else. Sometimes, cannabis can replace the need for medicine. Cannabis can be used to replace toxic addictions and may help reduce the opioid epidemic.

Losing Faith in Big Pharma

Stories of corruption in pharmaceuticals hit the news on a regular basis, with stories of price gouging, profiteering and serious side effects chipping away at the confidence consumers once had in medications. As it relates to opioids and other habit forming drugs, the potential for addiction and possible negative side effects are often glossed over in search of profit. Turning away from Big Pharma has led many consumers to seek out “natural” alternatives…and medical (legal) cannabis falls squarely within the scope of that search.

Cannabis in Canada – a study in alternative medicine

Canada ran a study over the usage of medical cannabis and which prescriptions it had been used to replace. 271 subjects were analyzed. 63% of consumers were using their purchases through the Canadian company LP Tilray to replace prescriptions such as:

  • Antidepressants – 12% replacement rate
  • Benzodiazepines – 16% replacement rate
  • Opioids – 30% replacement rate

Various other medications were replaced but not specified and many reasons were given for replacing current medicine with cannabis.

Reasons for replacing pills with Cannabis are growing

According to a recent large survey of respondents, reasons for the switch varied, but one truth rang out loud and clear: consumers are interested in LESS pharmaceutical drugs and more in holistic, natural alternatives. 

Some individuals cited the reduction of negative side effects. Others believed cannabis to be safer, while some also believed it to be moreeffective.

From Fun Recreation to Practical Medicinal UseUse

One of the major issues with prescription addiction is the reliance (both physically and mentally) that comes with many prescriptions, not to mention the price tag that follows. With medicine, what is intended to be for short-term use often becomes a long-term addiction. 

In contrast, with cannabis, some may use it recreationally before choosing to use it formedicinal reasons. This reversal of the process is thought to be key in avoiding a dependent relationship with the herb. CBD has been a great alternative for those looking for the effects of hemp without the "high" or effect of THC. 

At Hemper we carry a full line of legal forms of CBD Products that contain no more than 0.3% THC. Some forms include:

Eliminating Substance Abuse with Cannabis

An added benefit to using cannabis medicinally is the reduction in opioid abuse, a proudly touted benefit of utilizing marijuana in lieu of opioids for pain management. 

Opioid abuse has spiraled into a downright epidemic in modern society, with everyone from your average everyday housewife or father to local high school athletes being afflicted. One small injury, followed by a seemingly innocuous prescription can often be all it takes to form a habit that is darn near impossible to kick.

 Oftentimes, cannabis can be used to replace dangerous substances such as:

  • Alcohol – 25% replacement rate within some studies
  • Cigarettes and tobacco – 12% replacement rate within some studies
  • Illicit drugs – 3% replacement rate within some studies

According to this Canadian study, cannabis can be used to help provide beneficial results and lessen addiction.

Cannabis Consumption - methods

Those who use cannabis for medicinal reasons often have issues with their respiratory system and cannot smoke it. Some of these patients rely on vaporizers to consume cannabis. A vaporizer heats cannabis to a certain point that stays below combustion to avoid smoke.

Avoiding smoke may help patients eliminate the risk of irritated lungs and respiratory infections. It is no secret smoking in any form is bad for the body, so vaping helps eliminate this issue. Patients may find relief without addiction through medicinal cannabis. Shop CBD Vape Pens.

The Push for Research

The one thing we know is that moreresearch is needed into cannabis and vaping as potentially safer and effective alternative treatments. It is essential to understand the relationship between the various compounds present in cannabis and our endocannabinoid system. 

By performing more studies, scientists can achieve a fuller understanding of how cannabis can help overcome physical and mental maladies, as well as contribute to everyday health (Havelka, 2017). The growth in popularity of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use is a positive trend that stands to help many.

Overcoming the Fear from Pharma

Fear mongering is a popular choice of opponents of cannabis use. Big Pharma stands to lose a lot of money as people choose to use cannabis instead of potentially addicting substances. Always do due diligence and conduct your own research on trustworthy, scientific websites before falling victim to the rumors or propaganda.

Overcoming Opioids

Opioid abuse is finally being recognized as the plague it has become. These pills are often over prescribed for pain medication, leaving the patient to continually seek continued use long after they are necessary. Cannabis may allow for someone to achieve pain relief without the looming threat of opioid addiction, thus reducing the epidemic or eliminating it entirely.

Closing Thoughts

Cannabis has many health benefits. According to some studies, cannabis can successfully replace many different medicine types. Vaping allows for cannabis to be safely and effectively consumed. By allowing for the medicinal use of cannabis, we can allow patients to get the help they need in a safe manner. CBD is an alternative that many choose.