The Silver Rain
CBD Guide Chapter 10

The Silver Rain
CBD Guide Chapter 10

CBD as an Alternative

You have probably already gathered that with CBD’s potential to address chronic pain, emotional and psychological issues, and sleeping troubles, it offers an alternative to an array of drugs. 

With so many prescription and even over-the-counter medications running high risks of addiction, CBD can offer more than relief from symptoms. It can provide a non-addictive option for people who might otherwise not have a choice but to take harsh medications with strong side effects.

Because of its non-addictive qualities and low side effects, some users might use CBD as a substitute to prescription or over-the-counter medications. Others might use CBD in conjunction with prescription medications as a safe way to manage symptoms.

The Widespread Addiction Crisis

Unfortunately, the United States has long suffered from widespread drug addiction. Lately, an overwhelmingly large source of addiction is from pharmaceutical drugs, not street drugs. This means that drugs which are legally prescribed and administered to people are still causing extremely detrimental addictions. 

The current opioid epidemic poses a particularly tragic threat to many Americans. With overdoses from synthetic opioids rising by 10% in 2018, it is clear that many man-made pharmaceuticals are ruining lives. 

Obviously, CBD cannot answer all of the problems of the opioid crisis, or completely solve any problems of addiction. However, finding a natural for pain relief, anxiety treatment, and better sleep can help many people avoid highly addictive medications. 

Symptoms and Pharmaceutical Medications

To provide a better picture of how CBD might function as an alternative option to some pharmaceuticals, consider the types of medications commonly used to treat symptoms that CBD can also alleviate:

Anxiety & Depression – The range of medications utilized to treat anxiety, depression, and related mood disorders is huge. A list of the most common medications prescribed for both anxiety and depression includes: 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro etc.
  • Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta
  • Anxiolytic sedatives
  • Benzodiazepines including Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium

Some antidepressants and anti-anxiety prescriptions, including SSRIs and SNRIs are luckily non-addictive. Still, many patients report a list of unwanted side effects on these medications, including chronic indigestion, dizziness, impotence, and even an increase in the very symptoms they are attempting to treat.

Benzodiazepines, another popular class of drugs used for the treatment of anxiety, have a highly addictive nature and high risks of overdose. While these drugs can treat a number of serious conditions, they are not to be taken lightly. They can cause incoherence and loss of memory, do not mix safely with alcohol, and create physical dependencies that cause painful and even dangerous withdrawals.

Chronic Pain

Many people turn to prescription medications, especially opioids, for chronic pain. This is completely understandable, and it is important to acknowledge the effectiveness of these medications for some people. However, like anything else, they are not foolproof. On top of potentially becoming addictive, opioids and other high-strength pain medications can interfere with daily life. 

A lot of chronic pain sufferers reach a point of seeking alternative options to their medication as a way to minimize intense side effects. Some long-term users of painkillers even turn to CBD because of its effectiveness and low impact on cognition. Unlike opioids, many other painkillers, and THC, CBD allows people to reduce their pain without intoxication or psychoactivity. 

Another popular solution for chronic pain can often be bought over-the-counter. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen work by reducing swelling in the body. These options are highly effective for minor pain relief, but not without side effects. Long term use of these medications can lead to stomach ulceration, liver damage, and more. This is why acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and many other over-the-counter anti-inflammatories are not recommended for long term use without a doctor’s guidance. On the flip side, long term use of CBD currently shows no overall negative impacts of the human body. 

Sleep Disorders

Another common issue that leads many adults to heavy duty medications is that of sleep disorders. As we mentioned in Chapter 7 of the Silver Rain CBD Guide, many adults decide to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders with extremely harsh pharmaceuticals. 

Sleeping pills such as Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and more have intense side effects including dangerous and quite bizarre sleepwalking. They can be highly addictive and even lead to overdose. 

Even over-the-counter sleep medications can become habit forming. This means that while they might not create a physically dependent addiction within the body, they can be extremely hard to quit taking. Drugs such as melatonin are not intended for long term use, though they can be extremely hard to discontinue using once they become a part of one’s nightly routine.

Trying CBD Instead

After developing a complete understanding of the harsh realities of pharmaceutical drugs, it is no wonder why CBD is often thought of as an “alternative medicine”. The naturally sourced compound can respond to a large range of symptoms that people might otherwise attempt to treat with heavy-duty medication. 

In addition to swapping out CBD for a pharmaceutical drug, some CBD users opt to use CBD in conjunction with prescription medications. This can be a great option for people who feel that their symptoms are too severe to abandon their medications, but still want to benefit from the validity of CBD as an alternative medicine.

In a recent survey, 22% of CBD consumers reported that they replaced a prescription drug they were taking with CBD. Another 38% said that they continued to take their previous medication alongside CBD. This means that less than half of CBD consumers have never been prescribed medication for their symptoms. The fact that so many individuals who are familiar with the world of pharmaceutical drugs turn to CBD speaks volumes. Consumers are not simply using CBD as an easy fix or a way to treat a problem without having to see a doctor–they are actively opting to use CBD when pharmaceutical options remain available. 

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