Cannabis is becoming an increasingly popular substitute for prescription and non-prescription drugs. But how effective is it really? In this article, we'll explore the potential of cannabis to replace conventional medications, from ADHD medications and antipsychotics to prescription opioids and antiepileptics. We'll also look at the evidence for CBD's anticonvulsant capabilities, its potential to replace opioids, and its ability to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression. In Canada, a study showed that 63% of patients changed their prescription drugs and replaced them with cannabis, which greatly improved their physical, mental and emotional quality of life.
Epidiolex, one of the first cannabis-based CBD drugs approved by the FDA, successfully treats seizures related to rare forms of epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome and the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). In clinical trials, patients with LGS took 20 milligrams per kg of Epidiolex daily, resulting in a reduction in seizures of up to 44%. Similarly, patients with Dravet syndrome took the same dose daily and experienced a 39% decrease in seizure frequency. The interaction between CBD and certain receptors in the brain and central nervous system is believed to decrease neuronal excitability, partially through the release of adenosine, an endogenous modulator known for its anticonvulsant qualities.
While more research needs to be done to evaluate how CBD can help patients with other forms of epilepsy, there is some evidence that it may improve certain antiepileptic medications (clobazam) in children with refractory epilepsy. Cannabis and its compounds are believed to provide a safer alternative for prescription patients and illicit opioids without a prescription. In one study, daily doses of opioids decreased significantly from 152 mg of morphine in milligrams equivalent (MME) to 32 mg of MME (an overall reduction of 78%). This shows the importance of cannabis in combating the misuse and abuse of opioids, especially in the U.
S. Department of State, which is currently facing an opioid epidemic. There is growing interest in how cannabis can be used to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression, and how it could replace prescription antidepressants and anxiolytics. The researchers used several varieties of cannabis strains, each with different levels of CBD and THC. They found that cannabis significantly reduced symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
Strains low in THC and CBD were particularly good for depression, while strains high in THC and CBD were better for stress. Replacing antidepressant medications with cannabis is not easy. It requires prior knowledge of cannabis and its chemical compounds before being used to treat depression, anxiety and other associated mental health disorders. Too little CBD and too much THC can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially if the patient is a first-time user who is not used to the effects of THC. Similarly, too much CBD and too little THC may not be strong or effective enough to combat symptoms. The reason why CBD is believed to be an effective antidepressant and anxiolytic treatment is its ability to attack serotonin receptors.
Targeting serotonin receptors doesn't necessarily produce more serotonin in the body. Instead, it uses serotonin which is already in the body, and can cause brain receptors to respond better to it when activated. This physiological activation and response is believed to induce a sense of calm and happiness. Strictly controlled use of high-quality cannabis in a clinical setting can reduce alcohol dependence and addiction, as well as alleviate alcohol withdrawal symptoms and liver damage. Within a short space of five months, they noticed a dramatic improvement in the patient's physical and mental health and well-being.