Given the safety profile of cannabis compared to opioids, cannabis appears to be far safer. However, if you’re already using opioids and are considering making any drastic changes to your treatment then you should do so under close supervision by your physician.
Kevin Ameling, a chronic pain patient who now works for a Colorado-based non-profit cannabis research advocacy group called the IMPACT Network, is one of many success stories across the United States with regard for cannabis compared to opioids. Ameling believes cannabis saved him from a life of dependency on prescription drugs. In 2007, he suffered a severe fall and was prescribed abundance of prescription drugs that included OxyContin, Tramadol, and Clonazepam to name a few. The pain became so severe that he had to progressively increase dosage while the OxyContin became less effective.
Eventually moving to Colorado in 2013, Ameling was given the opportunity to try medical marijuana. He claims he achieved results immediately and was able to significantly reduce his prescription intake: He cut his OxyContin dosage by 50%. No doubt, the chemical composition of the strain you choose and how you consume will affect the outcome. Moreover, it should be noted that everyone responds differently to each strain, dose, and preferred method of administration for their pain. Ameiling, for example, found smoking cannabis worsened his symptoms, while a low dose of edibles worked the best.