Cannabis Therapy For Addiction: A Harm-Reduction Approach
As cannabinoid science evolves, we're seeing that compounds of the plant (85+ cannabinoids and terpenes) have far-reaching and important medicinal and therapeutic benefits. In legal jurisdictions, controlled scientific studies are proving what the anecdotal evidence has been telling us for thousands of years: cannabis is original medicine that corresponds perfectly to the endocannabinoid system (ECS.)
The cannabis plant has been used medicinally, dating back to 2000 BC in the form of flowers, oils, tinctures, teas and in food preparations:
With cannabis therapy, addiction-sufferers now have a powerful, natural, and non-addictive option for withdrawal symptoms, to soothe the effects of withdrawal on body systems, to repair damage done to body and brain, and to regain health and wellness.
Greener Pastures Recovery provides an assessment, education, therapeutic support and a personalized plan for your healing journey. Clients have access to several herbal approaches to recovery available in the Greener Pastures apothecary. Used in conjunction with individual coaching, therapeutic interventions and strong support, plant-based medicines are a promising alternative to pharmaceutical-based MAT.
Read below to discover emergent science on the treatment options for addictions.
Links to studies and further information are in the text and also on our RESEARCH page.
From “Marijuana in Medicine” by Tod H. Mikuriya M.D. (1969):
“Because cannabis did not lead to physical dependence, it was found to be superior to the opiates for a number of therapeutic purposes. Birch, in 1889, reported success in treating opiate and chloral addiction with cannabis, and Mattison in 1891 recommended its use to the young physician, comparing it favorably with the opiates.”
Quitting alcohol, the drug of choice for the alcoholic, is extremely difficult even with support. There are many physical withdrawal symptoms, including but not limited to, profuse sweating, shaking or tremors, dry mouth or craving for alcohol/thirst for alcohol, nausea & vomiting, mood swings and/or anxiety.
This difficult period, referred to as "drying out", can make the person with alcoholism feel helpless and vulnerable. Some sufferers find themselves stopping and starting treatment several times over before finally succeeding at quitting or the disease takes over and takes their lives.
Cannabinoid therapy, particularly vaporization of the flower, provides solid withdrawal symptom management. Used in conjunction with a reliable support program such as AA, cannabis therapy can provide the desired psycho-active effects that make quitting alcohol "cold-turkey" tolerable, while also supporting healing of the Body, Mind & Spirit.
Most important to the holistic treatment of alcoholism is the new study that found that cannabinoids actually protect neural cells from cell death during the "drying out" period of alcohol withdrawal. Where many cells would die from the withdrawal of alcohol from the body, cannabinoids protect the cells from dying! The study took the extra step to prove the opposite is true as well by introducing a cannabinoid antagonist and cell death was indeed accelerated during alcohol withdrawal.
Cannabis does not kill brain cells, or impair liver function.
Opiate & Heroin Addiction
For most, the gateway to heroin addiction is doctor-prescribed and/or recreational use of opiate painkillers.
When the prescription gets cancelled by the doctor, or the pills are too expensive, many people turn to heroin as a cheap and readily-available source. As use continues, the need grows stronger, until people are using dangerous amounts of drugs just to function normally and avoid "the sickness" of withdrawal. Many overdose, too many die.
For survivors who seek rehab, they are offered more addiction in the legally-approved forms of methadone or suboxone (to treat the methadone addiction) in State-funded programs. Victims OD on methadone and die and they OD on suboxone and die.
Heroin use is a runaway train and overdose deaths have quadrupled in New England since 2010. It's time to look at Original Medicine for the answers, as opiate-replacement therapy is a clear and overwhelming failure.
Cannabinoid therapy eases the physical symptoms of withdrawal, while enabling people to improve their health by eating and sleeping through withdrawal, while elevating their mood, thus avoiding depression, anxiety and panic through the withdrawal period.
Further, recent studies have shown that cannabinoid therapy relieves morphine dependence and THC suppresses behavioral, biochemical, and molecular dependence.
No one has ever died of a cannabis overdose.
According to a new study by the National Institute of Health (NIH,) cannabis may be an effective treatment in curing people of addiction from hard drugs such as cocaine, crack and methamphetamine.
According to researchers, this study “presents an up-to-date review with deep insights into the pivotal role of the ECS (endocannabinod system) in the neurobiology of stimulant addiction and the effects of its modulation on addictive behaviors.
They state that; “A growing number of studies support a critical role of the ECS and its modulation by synthetic or natural cannabinoids in various neurobiological and behavioral aspects of stimulants addiction.”
For the study, researchers found that “cannabinoids modulate brain reward systems closely involved in stimulants addiction, and provide further evidence that the cannabinoid system could be explored as a potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants.”
A breakthrough study with mice found that high CBD extractions can dramatically reduce crack/cocaine consumption and National surveys showed that as cannabis use increased in the 1990s, crack use declined.
With CBD Therapy, addicts recover from dopamine burnout, significantly ease their withdrawal symptoms, and can rebuild their lives with a clear head.
No one has ever used too much cannabis and had a heart attack.