LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As the opioid crisis continues to ravage the United States, scientists in Los Angeles are hoping their research into cannabis can provide an alternative to powerfully addictive, potentially deadly pain medications.

“Cannabis probably can certainly help with pain,” Dr. Timothy Fong, addiction specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, told CBS2 News.

Fong, an executive member of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, said it is not clear what type of pain marijuana would be effective in treating. He said he hopes his research will be able to zero in on whether some pain that gets treated with opioids — back, headache and stomach, as examples — can be alleviated with pot.

Fong said he wants to find out how marijuana can be used to, “number one, protect individuals from addiction, and number two, potentially use it as a idea to reduce the scourge and negative consequences of the opioid epidemic.”

The various ways one can consume cannabis lends itself to different forms of studying its effects, said Fong. “You can eat it, you can smoke it, and with that in mind, there are a lot of interesting potentials that it can be used for.”

He added that using vaporizer pens might be a good option, since taking it in this form might deliver a more consistent dose of cannabis than smoking or eating it would.

Fond said it will take money and manpower to start studying this in depth but that the limited research that does exist shows “THC and other cannabinoids in the body can be pretty effective for pain control.”

The same limited research also found marijuana users can also fall prey to addiction, just as with opioids.

It’s not yet clear whether marijuana can be used to wean addicts off opioids.

Comments (5)
  1. May Yang says:

    How to tackling “The Opioid Epidemic” With Herbals

    Dear All,

    In Indonesia, there’re several combination of herbs that can prevent and cure addiction of narcotic. This herbs not only detoxify the toxin in the body due to the influence of narcotics, but to some extent able to turn off the desire of addicts to re-consume narcotics.

    The Herbs chriteria are :
    1. More humane because without the need to be isolated.
    2. Drug addiction sufferers do not have to be forced to stop taking drugs, but by itself will stop because its effect is replaced by this herbal, just need the will to quit.
    3. The Herbs able to relieve the conditions experienced by addicted drug users. For users of drugs other than methadone types, Herbal reaction will work faster.
    4. Several other effects can be felt with stools being normal, weight gain, normal sleep patterns, feelings of pain are lost and some HIV positive people without an increase in CD4 cell count
    5. This herb is in the form of fine powder, so it is easy to use mixed as a drink or encapsulated.
    6. This herbs can be used also in children and adolescents because it can prevent them falling into the drug addiction and drug addiction ravines.
    7. Some combinations of these herbal medicine are powerful for curing cancer.

    With the above criteria, are there any scientists and herbalist interested in researching them?

    Best Regards,

    Dody Yudia Riendadi
    e-mail : yudiarien68@gmail.com
    Twitter : @yudiarien68

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