As the short- and long-term effects of continued opioid use have become more apparent, people have started experimenting with safer alternatives. Cannabis and kratom, a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family, have emerged as promising candidates. Cannabis has long been used as a medicine to treat everything from chronic pain to stress and anxiety. Leaves and leaf extracts from kratom, which is legal in the United States, have been used as a stimulant and sedative, and the natural substance has also been reported to be effective at treating chronic pain.
A federal health agency is now conducting a review of studies into cannabis’s and kratom’s alleged pain-relieving abilities to see if the two could be used to treat chronic pain conditions with reduced side effects. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (“AHRQ”) says that the increase in opioid use, as well as overdoses, underscores the need for safer, plant-based alternatives.
AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is also asking the public to point out any research on the benefits and risks of cannabinoids and kratom. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant, and they are responsible for its therapeutic and psychoactive effects. The agency stated in a public notice that cannabinoids, specifically THC, may have analgesic properties, but the research is “mixed.”.
Additional cannabinoids such as CBD, CBC and CBG may also have analgesic or anti-inflammatory properties, but they may be less potent than THC, AHRQ says. This isn’t the first time the agency has sought the public’s help in identifying studies on the risks and benefits of using cannabis for pain relief. Back in March 2019, the group announced that it was currently reviewing existing research on alternatives to opioids. AHRQ ultimately said that it didn’t find enough evidence to draw accurate conclusions.
The systematic review will ask four key questions: In adults with chronic pain, what are the benefits of cannabinoids? In adults with chronic pain, what are the harms of cannabinoids? In adults with chronic pain, what are the benefits of kratom or other plant-based substances for the treatment of chronic pain? In adults with chronic pain, what are the harms of kratom or other plant-based substances for chronic pain treatment?
The public will have until Jan. 4, 2021, to submit either published or unpublished research on the benefits and risks of using cannabis or kratom instead of opioids for chronic pain relief.
Aside from the research being done by the feds, several companies are soaring as a result of the legalization of hemp and marijuana. For example, The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (CSE: WTER) (NASDAQ: WTER) was launched in 2012, but it has made great strides in staking its claim as the maker of the best-tasting waster globally. WTER edibles and topicals, all infused with CBD, are also a hit.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (CSE: WTER) (NASDAQ: WTER) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/WTER
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