Why Are Patients Choosing Medical Marijuana Over Benzos?

Why Are Patients Choosing Medical Marijuana Over Benzos?

It all begins with a small problem in your life. And then the next thing you know is experiencing a panic attack or saying hello to clinical depression. This is the reality for most American people out there. We may be making the most out of living in the land of opportunities, but on the sidekick, it is usually at the cost of our mental health.

If you are diagnosed with insomnia, anxiety or seizures, chances are that your doctor will prescribe you benzodiazepines. They are supposed to have an immediate calming effect on the brain and thus serve as a clinical remedy to a number of mental conditions.

And just like any other prescribed drug, benzos come with their own ‘good, bad and ugly’ effects. But a recent study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal sheds light on the benefits of cannabis when reducing benzodiazepine use. Aleafia Health’s study involved researchers from The Arcadia & Dalhousie University looking at data collected from a group of 146 medical cannabis users who had been regularing using benzodiazepine.

Multiple kinds of research have been carried out concerning cannabis and its ability to replace certain drugs without the side effects of dependency.

Most studies haven’t been conducted over a long period of time but have reached conclusive results.

Let’s figure out if medical cannabis can actually help you not pop more benzos anytime soon.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzos or Benzodiazepines are a class of widely prescribed drugs used primarily for treating anxiety and to help patients with insomnia. The most common prescribed benzo drugs include:

-Diazepam (Valium)

-Clonazepam (Klonopin)

-Lorazepam (Ativan)

-Alprazolam (Xanax)

These drugs are well known to work as sedatives. This is because they enhance the outcome of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric) neurotransmitters and receptors found in the human brain. As the benzos kick in, they supercharge your GABA receptors making them less interactive. This calms down all the hyperactivity in your brain eventually making you feel less anxious.

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Doctors aim to make use of this medically useful property and induce sleep, anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety and muscle relaxing effects in patients. These effects are further leveraged to treat seizures, insomnia, spasticity disorders and assist in withdrawal symptoms from alcohol addiction.

What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You About Benzodiazepine

Although this medication has proven it’s utility, but it doesn’t come without some significant side effects. Good news is that you won’t get anything more than a hangover with short term use. But it just gets worse with continued use. It may start out with fatigue and dizziness that you experience almost all day long. This can eventually lead to a troublesome situation where you get disoriented and injure yourself in a fall or an accident.

Patients who are prescribed high dosages can experience more severe side effects that include erectile dysfunction, decreased libido & sex drive. Not just this, behavioral inhibitions and suicidal behavior are also among other common side effects.

Another problem at this stage is the tolerance that a patient develops towards these prescribed drugs. The same dose seems to stop working over a period of a few weeks and you eventually end up overdosing. And for this very reason, a sensible physician would only prescribe you benzos for a period of 2-4 weeks.

Anything longer and patients risk experiencing several withdrawal symptoms like tremors, agitation, muscle spasms, insomnia and bowel/gastric problems.

Why Marijuana Sheds A Ray Of Hope For Patients Popping Benzos

Before looking into what studies revealed about cannabis consumption for benzodiazepine users, lets learn how marijuana can help. This natural occurring plant is proven to be a remedy against pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety and insomnia. All of which are the side effects of using benzos.

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The CBD (cannabidiol) present in cannabis chemically bonds with serotonin in the human body making us more calm and happy. Patients that are suffering from any mental health condition- like anxiety or PTSD have often termed marijuana as a very effective remedy to manage their symptoms without facing any side-effects.

What Research Has to Conclude About Benzo Patients Using Cannabis

The study conducted by Aleafia Health has certainly brought into light the two most culturally relevant drugs. Both have similar effects, but what varies is the degree of side effects.

The study showcased that after consuming cannabis for 2 months, 30% of the patients stopped using benzodiazepines completely. This percentage grew to a staggering 45.2% patients who were able to overcome benzo dependency completely in 6 months.

Cannabis does not cause any dependency issues and this is why it is better than popping benzos. Most mental health patients are not as aware of these dependency issues that come with conventional prescribed medication for mental illnesses. Most doctors also fail to mention the fall and sedation effects of drugs and the nasty withdrawal effects that kick in after. In contrast, most people are aware of the side effects of marijuana, and most of its history has been shoved into the limelight with so many recent controversies surrounding its popularity. Well, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

Stop Popping, Start rolling!

The cannabis industry is booming. The recent wave of legalization has found itself a growing number of admirers. And these come from all walks of life. One of the many benefits of having a medical marijuana card for mental health & addiction patients is that they can choose products that specifically target their symptoms, sans any side effects.

If you are looking to take it easy on consuming benzos, talk to a 420 doctor about withdrawal symptoms and plan on a cannabis dosage accordingly. Several anxiety patients are using cannabis to manage their medical condition without getting addicted to it. Many more are on their path to getting free from the claws of traditional medication. Which only gives a ray of hope to people looking to switch to unconventional forms of therapy.


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