How Marijuana Has Affected the Health Care Business

Updated on July 26, 2021

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Hemp-derived cannabidiol or CBD products such as the one shown here is one of the main discussion points of marijuana legalization. This is mainly due to the fact that marijuana and hemp share a similar chemical structure since they both belong to the cannabis plant species. Hemp-derived CBD products, which are readily available, provide a compelling demonstration of the health benefits of medical marijuana.

What separates marijuana from hemp is that the former has 5 to 35 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component that gives it psychoactive properties. While some contend that THC has a potential for abuse, there seems to be no stopping the trend of legalizing the use of medical marijuana.

The ever-growing sentiment for marijuana legalization also benefits other cannabis products that are already in the market like hemp-derived CBDs. Consumers are now beginning to see such products for its true medicinal value without the fear of stereotyped as a pothead. Sales of hemp-derived products continue to gain traction, and its impact on the health care industry is becoming more apparent.

A Viable Opioid Alternative

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Global pharmaceutical companies have long profited from selling painkillers. Such is the market demand for painkillers that doctors often prescribe opioid-based painkillers for their patients who suffer from chronic pain. While opioids are very effective in alleviating various types of pain, they also have a high chance of abuse. A poll revealed that millions of patients in the United States who are using opioid painkillers develop some form of substance abuse each year. Another grim statistic also shows that approximately 20,000 deaths occur each year because of opioid overdose.

This makes medical marijuana a viable alternative for pain alleviation. One study shows that CBD is effective in relieving different types of pain. It works by inhibiting the body’s receptors that are responsible for pain response. This same study also shows that administering CBD along with THC, enhances its potency in managing different types of pain including those that stem from conditions such as multiple sclerosis, nerve damage and even cancer.

The legalization of marijuana should spell trouble for Big Pharma and should send ripples throughout the health care business. Apart from being non-addictive, medical marijuana costs significantly less than opioid painkillers. It wouldn’t be surprising to see those who are suffering from chronic and neuropathic pain to consider and shift to marijuana for treatment.

Anxiety and Stress Management

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Research also suggests that CBDs are highly effective in the treatment and management of a wide range of anxiety disorders. These include conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD) and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A good number of patients who are suffering from some form of anxiety are already using CBDs to help them manage their conditions. With marijuana legalization, the number of CBD users will very likely increase. One main reason is that anti-anxiety medication significantly cost more than hemp-derived CBD. Another advantage that CBD has over traditional anxiety medicines is that the former does not come with the side effects as the latter. It wouldn’t be a stretch, therefore, to expect more people to turn to CBDs for anxiety management, which translates yet again to loss of revenues for Big Pharma.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.