NSAIDs, or non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, are some of the most widely used analgesic substances in the world. However, there are many side effects to these drugs that can be life threatening. Stroke, heart attack, gastrointestinal effects, and internal bleeding can be caused by NSAID use, resulting in estimated deaths of over 16,000 annually. However, the use of cannabis can offset these adverse effects, while also relieving pain just as effectively as ibuprofen and other NSAID pain relievers.

The most common side effect of NSAID pain relievers is gastric inflammation. West Virginia University researchers have assessed the impact of NSAID induced gastric inflammation, and have concluded that gastric ulcers can easily be caused by regular use of NSAIDs. Additionally, the regimens that are used to cure gastric ulcers, such as regular use of antacids, may result in a reduced bone density, vitamin deficiencies, and an increased risk for bacterial infection.On the other hand, the use of cannabis for pain relief produces many beneficial effects, including ones of a gastro-protective nature. Cannabis may reduce the analgesic dose of NSAIDs, and reduce the incidence of gastric ulcers that have resulted from use of NSAID pain relievers.

Cannabis has long been used to lower pain sensitivity, while increasing pain tolerance. NSAID pain relievers also work to lower pain sensitivity, but come with a large array of potentially deadly side effects, as well as a risk for for NSAID medication abuse in those who experience regular or chronic pain. Abuse of NSAID pain relievers can cause a high build up of toxicity in the system. This toxicity can result in acute liver failure, kidney toxicity, and heart attack. Over 16,000 annual deaths are estimated to be a result of abuse or overuse of NSAID pain relievers. None of these side effects are typically present in those that use cannabis for pain relief.

Although both cannabis and NSAID pain relievers are effective at lowering pain sensitivity, NSAIDs may cause many additional side effects that can be potentially life threatening. Cannabis is often a safer alternative for pain relief, and use of this drug may potentially cut down on the abuse of NSAID drugs that results in thousands of deaths each year.

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