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The opioid crisis in the U.S. isn’t anything new—and unfortunately, we’ve not made much progress. Painkillers are frequently prescribed for a range of injuries and surgeries, putting people of all ages at risk for addiction. In fact, about 21-29% of people prescribed opioids for pain ultimately abuse them or develop an addiction. But if it’s not safe in the long-term, what are the other options for chronic pain?

This is where CBD can help. While its intensity doesn’t quite match that of prescription painkillers, CBD is still a great alternative or even supplement for pain relief. Plus, that’s the whole idea—that the pain is made manageable and your mind remains sharp and focused. CBD interacts with our pain receptors and others located throughout our body, so in a way, it interacts the same as opioids in our brains. The big difference is that CBD doesn’t seem to trigger any addiction responses in the body like opioids do.

More than that, CBD can help speed up your body’s recovery so painkillers aren’t required at all. That’s something that opioids definitely can’t do! CBD effectively reduces inflammation in all parts of the body, increases appetite and improves sleep quality. All these factors reduce pain and help your body heal more quickly.

When used as a supplement to prescription painkillers, CBD can help prevent addiction from developing. Researchers believe CBD could be the key to helping people wean off opioids once their prescription is through. It’s been shown to not only reduce cravings for opioids, but also the anxiety that often causes people to crave it in the first place. Plus, when CBD is used in combination with painkillers, a lower dose of opioids can be taken for similar effect, making it easier to eventually wean off.

We have a long way to go in solving the opioid crisis, but making better alternatives to painkillers well known is a start. CBD is a no-risk way to treat pain without side effects or risk of addiction. If you’re considering it, talk with your doctor about options for incorporating CBD to your treatment plan.

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