Cannabis, Pain, and the Opioid Crisis

Cannabis, Pain, and the Opioid Crisis


Opioid addiction and overdose have become a major concern in the United States. According to the National Institute of Drug abuse, 47,000 people died in the U.S. of an opioid overdose in 2017; that’s an average of 128 people a day.

Over time, prescription opioids become highly addictive while also losing their effectiveness to treat pain. As a result, researchers found that many of the people who become addicted to prescription opioids later turn to heroin as a less expensive alternative that provides similar effects.


According to Salynn Boyles, a freelance contributing writer at MedPage Today and WebMD, over 100 million people suffer from chronic pain in the United States. This may lead one to believe the only options for chronic pain are to live with it or take the opioids and risk addiction.  However, much to the dismay of pharma industries, cannabis offers another possible solution to treating pain.

The human body has natural cannabinoid receptors, and it just so happens that cannabinoids like Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are found in cannabis plants as well. CBD and THC are both components of the hemp and marijuana plants.

Like opioid receptors, cannabinoid receptors reside in the pain, addiction, and behavior parts of the brain. Due to these biological findings, it’s possible that cannabis can replace opioids for many users.


While much research is still needed, initial studies show that cannabis can help with the following aspects of the opioid crisis:

  • Cannabis can reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms for those trying to get off the drug. Studies show that THC and CBD may help with nausea, vomiting, anxiety, restlessness, agitation, and more. In addition, unlike other withdrawal drugs such as methadone, a person cannot overdose on cannabis.
  • When taken with opioids, cannabis can increase opioid potency and prevent opioid tolerance building. This enables patients to stay on a lower dose for a longer time, rather than having to go back to the doctor every few months for a higher dose.
  • For some, cannabis can replace opioids completely. Since the THC and CBD cannabinoids also attach to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, they can be helpful in reducing pain for some. Some say that taking CBD with THC will reduce the psychoactive effects from the THC and increase the benefits for both.

If you are considering trying cannabis products in Washington, visit Locals Canna House in the Spokane Valley.  Our knowledgeable budtenders can recommend products varying from edibles, tinctures, topicals, vape cartridges and more. Click here to view our menu before you come in.

locals can help with pain alleviation


Written by: Paxton McKinney | Marketing Manager | Local’s Canna House


*Locals Canna House is not a medically endorsed cannabis retail store. The FDA has not approved cannabis in the treatment or cure of any ailment or disease. The above info is for educational and informational purposes only.  Do not use the information to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure in any manner whatsoever any physical, mental or emotional issue, disease, problem or condition. This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.  There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.