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Hemp and Heroin: One Helps and the Other Hurts

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
Updated: May 12th, 2020

hemp plant

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After nearly a century of being unjustifiably classified as a dangerous substance and deemed illegal to grow in the United States, hemp has finally been legalized at the federal level.

This is a great leap forward in the treatment of a variety of chronic and acute health problems which have been shown to be alleviated with the use of certain cannabis-based products, particularly those which are infused with the cannabinoid known as cannabidiol, or CBD for short.

It’s no surprise the rate of hemp consumption in the U.S. has seen a steady increase in recent years and will see an almost exponential increase due to the recent push to make it legal to grow across all states.

Another substance which has seen an uptick in use in recent years is heroin. Unlike hemp, heroin is incredibly dangerous due to the relatively low amount it takes to trigger an overdose.

What’s more, heroin is highly addictive. Opioids such as heroin continue to be tightly regulated and controlled for this reason. However, as previously mentioned, heroin use is skyrocketing across the U.S. and in other developed nations around the world.

Hemp and heroin – two completely different substances in terms of addictiveness and deadliness – both being used more and more often.

One side of this trend – the growing popularity of CBD oil-infused products – is a welcome change in medicine.

A natural compound found in cannabis, CBD oil has been shown to help reduce inflammation, manage stress, and provide relief for certain types of pain.

People also report using CBD for an energy boost to get through the day. While not conclusive, some research even suggests products infused with CBD oil can help improve heart health.

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All these benefits come with virtually no negative side-effects. In fact, no amount of CBD consumption has ever been shown to be lethal.

The other side of the spectrum – the surge in heroin addiction and opioid addiction in general – is a national health crisis happening in real time.

Used to treat and manage severe pain, prescription opioids have been prescribed to millions of Americans despite the high risk of addiction.

Many prescription opioid users eventually turn to heroin – the opioid most easily found on the street – to feed their addiction when they are no longer able to access their prescribed painkillers.

A study recently undertaken by Massachusetts General Hospital projects a 147% increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. between 2015 and 2025.

Given the benefits of CBD oil and other cannabis-based medicinal products, a body of evidence is mounting which suggests they can be used to help heroin addicts beat their habit before it kills them.

While not a treatment for opioid addiction, CBD oil can be used as a maintenance medication for those in the process of recovery. Both in terms of its potential painkilling properties and the psychological effect of consuming a substance meant to reduce stress and anxiety, using harmless CBD as a partial replacement for dangerous opioids is showing promise.

Hemp and heroin: two distinct substances increasing in popularity with two very different sets of possible outcomes for frequent users.

As the opioid addiction epidemic continues to grow in the U.S. and other developed nations, more and more heads are turning to cannabis-based treatments for pain, depression, and addiction recovery.

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Website Author and Editor Bio

Photo of Karl Perera, MA, DipLC Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.