It is no secret that Americans are over-medicated. According to one 2017 study, approximately 55 percent of Americans take prescription medications regularly. Of those who take prescription medication, 53 percent get their medicine from more than one healthcare provider, which increases the risk of adverse side effects.
With the advent of cannabidiol (CBD) as a form of medication, many are wondering whether it might serve as the solution to America’s pharmaceutical blues. Here’s a quick rundown on why CBD just might be better than Big Pharma.
What patients say about CBD.
Partnering with HelloMD, the data research firm Brightfield Group conducted an in-depth survey of over 2,400 patients comparing CBD to pharmaceuticals. When asked about the effectiveness of CBD compared to pharmaceuticals, approximately 60 percent of respondents said that, to some extent, CBD was more effective than the prescription medications they had tried or used regularly. Another 75 percent of respondents said that CBD was more effective than over-the-counter remedies.
CBD side effects vs. pharmaceutical side effects.
If you’ve ever seen a commercial for pharmaceutical drugs, then you are no doubt familiar with the comically long list of side effects that are often quickly repeated at the end of the ad. Without a doubt, many pharmaceutical drugs often come with side effects that are worse than the condition they are treating. Take the anti-inflammatory medication Celebrex for example.
Side effects for Celebrex include: increased risk of heart attack or stroke, serious (and sometimes fatal) bleeding from the stomach and intestines, stomach/abdominal pain, vomiting, chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes and slurred speech.
CBD, which is often used as an anti-inflammatory, carries none of these side effects. At its worst, the side effects of CBD include minor complications like nausea, fatigue and irritability. That’s it. No bleeding, no heart attacks, no slurred speech. Comparatively speaking, that is a small price to pay for better health.
The cost of CBD vs. the cost of pharmaceuticals.
It is well documented that patients in the United States pay more for medication than any other developed nation in the world. On average, Americans spend $1,200 per year for prescription medication -- but sometimes it’s much more.
Using Celebrex as an example once again, let’s compare the cost of pharmaceutical drugs and CBD. On average, a 30-day supply of Celebrex can cost anywhere between $203 to $241, depending on your provider and insurer. Assuming that you are paying on the lower end of the price spectrum, that totals to approximately $2,436 per year.
To contrast, a 30-day supply of Avaqel CBD tincture (750 mg) costs $49.99. An entire year’s supply would cost roughly $600. The difference in price between a year’s worth of CBD tincture and a year’s worth of Celebrex is approximately $1,476.
CBD is not a wonder drug that will fix all of your problems. There will always be a need for certain prescription medications, and no one is making the argument that all pharmaceutical drugs are bad. However, when you compare the medical benefits of CBD to pharmaceutical drugs that promise to do that same thing, the clear winner is almost always CBD.
This article should not replace professional medical advice. We always recommend speaking to a doctor before starting any new supplements. Now that we got that out of the way, let's dig into some data.