A new study of thousands of patients has determined that medicinal cannabis might be an essential pain treatment alternative to opioids.
The study discovered that after taking medicinal cannabis, participants reported feeling less discomfort and being able to perform better physically and socially. It was also shown that by utilising medicinal cannabis, the majority of patients who were taking oxycodone, codeine, and other opioids to treat their pain were able to discontinue or reduce their use.
The findings suggest that, when taken under adequate medical supervision, medicinal cannabis, cannabis and cannabis-based drugs might reduce opioid consumption in some people. More study is needed to see if this can assist with the opioid problem in the United States.
Opioids are powerful pain relievers, but they are also extremely addictive. Overdose deaths involving opioids have grown more than eightfold in the United States since 1999, with more than 550,000 deaths occurring between 1999 and 2020.
Although the United States is at the epicentre of the opioid problem, the issue is becoming a growing public health concern in other nations, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia.
Medical cannabis is now legal in the majority of states in the United States, and people are increasingly turning to it instead of opioids to relieve pain. However, there has been little investigation into the practicality of replacing medicinal cannabis for opioids.
To learn more, researchers from Emerald Coast Research, a contract research organisation located in Florida, and Florida State University College of Medicine, conducted an extensive survey of medical cannabis users immediately after the state legalised its use for medicinal purposes.
Anxiety disorders, chronic pain, depression, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder were among the problems experienced by the 2,183 individuals (PTSD). The majority of them used medicinal cannabis on a daily basis.
According to the results of the 66-question poll, 90.6% of participants considered medicinal cannabis to be very or extremely useful in treating their medical condition, and 88.7% stated it was very or extremely important to their quality of life.
85.9% of individuals reported less pain. 84% reported that health difficulties were not interfering with their typical social activities as much as previously, and more than half reported that physical tasks, ranging from housework to jogging, were not as tough as they had been.
The most prevalent adverse effects reported by 68.7% of individuals were dry mouth, increased hunger, and tiredness. Prior to being prescribed medicinal cannabis, 61% of the individuals were using opioids, with 70.5% using them for at least two years. According to another research, 79% of people who had been using opioids were able to discontinue or lessen their use.
The number of those taking hydrocodone and acetaminophen (paracetamol) and oxycodone and acetaminophen (paracetamol), the two most widely used opioids in the research, decreased fivefold.
11.47% of those polled indicated increased everyday functioning. The study's authors, two of whom have financial or economic ties to a medical cannabis firm, claim that their findings show that medical cannabis may be used to manage the pain instead of opioids without hurting health.
Federal environmental inspectors are dropping a contentious 2020 risk assessment on the link between Roundup and cancer, which featured the weedkiller's active key component, glyphosate.
The previous judgement by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that there was no proof that glyphosate caused cancer, which sparked an outcry in the scientific community and among consumer advocacy groups. As a result, the EPA was sued in March 2020, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the agency had failed to follow its own criteria in producing the previous glyphosate assessment, ordering the agency to again review the risk by October 1.
The EPA informed the court last week that it will no longer pursue the lawsuit and is withdrawing the assessment because it cannot meet the court-imposed deadline, leaving glyphosate without a cancer risk assessment until it is reviewed again in 2026.
EPA officials emphasized that the agency's scientific conclusions have not changed, and that the removal of the assessment does not imply that regulators now think glyphosate causes cancer.
Glyphosate is the active component in Roundup and other weed killers that are extensively sold to consumers in the United States. The last EPA glyphosate safety evaluation was heavily criticized because it appeared to disregard warnings made by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015, which opted to designate glyphosate as a likely carcinogen.
Following that warning, Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary faced thousands of Roundup lawsuits filed by former Roundup users who developed non-lymphoma, Hodgkin's and internal documents were discovered that revealed the companies provided false and misleading information to consumers and regulators for years, implying glyphosate does not cause cancer.
Due to the complexities of the problems involved, the EPA now claims it will not be able to complete the evaluation until 2026. The agency has stated that it would not meet the October 1 court-ordered deadline, which left only 106 days to conduct the evaluation. Instead, the agency claims it will take four years to finish the review.
Depending on the severity of the findings, an EPA evaluation that finds glyphosate to be a cancer-causing chemical and a concern to the environment might result in additional limits or even Roundup recalls.
The Biden administration proposed a $1.5 billion grant programme to assist states, territories, and tribal lands in combating the opioid pandemic.
The funding would allow states to invest in better overdose education and enhance the availability of FDA-approved naloxone medications, which are used to assist reverse an opioid overdose.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdoses killed more than 107,000 individuals in the United States last year. The statistic represented a 15% rise in overdose-related mortality starting in 2020.
Members of the Biden administration, including the Second Gentleman and U.S. Secretary of Labor, attended the Recovery Month Summit to demonstrate their support for those in recovery and to explore grant financing.
More than $104 million in financing will go directly to rural towns impacted hard by the opioid crisis. It will be used for workforce training, education, and outreach, as well as new medication-assisted treatment locations.
In his fiscal year 2023 budget, Biden also requested more than $42.5 billion in financing for National Drug Control Agencies. The investment would be a $3.2 billion increase over last year.
The opioid crisis has been a serious issue throughout the nation in recent years. There have been a number of settlements where the plaintiffs or the affected families have been rewarded decently for the damage caused due to opioids.
The settlements involve several states, counties and cities, along with the opioid manufacturers and distributors. Johnson & Johnson and the drug distributors Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson are the major defendants in the cases who have paid huge sums to resolve the lawsuits.
Even though a national settlement of $26 billion has been announced by the jury to deal with the opioid damages, the Biden administration programme is a bigger helping hand to deal with the nationwide opioid crisis.