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Did you know nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain? According to the Institute of Medicine, annual treatment costs reach $635 billion for patients.

Many who are affected are prescribed addictive opiate-derived medications as part of a conventional treatment plan; however, there are natural options available that are non-addictive.

Did you know?

  • Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die from an opioid overdose.
  • Two million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder from prescription drugs.
  • 12 million Americans admit to misusing opioids.
  • Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 45 states.
  • A 2014 study showed that in states where medical marijuana is legal, opioid-related mortality dropped by 25 percent.

*According to reports from the Annals of Internal Medicineand the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Medical Cannabis: A Safer Alternative

Pennsylvania recently approved opioid addiction therapy to its list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. It is the first state to make this progressive extension.

Compassionate Certification Centers (CCC) is a Pittsburgh-based healthcare network with locations throughout Pennsylvania. The organization provides medical cannabis evaluations and continued treatment services for patients and has certified 40% of the state population.

“Our demographic varies greatly, but we see a large number of elderly patients as well as pediatric patients. The most common certifying diagnosis by far is chronic pain,” said Dr. Bryan Doner, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at CCC.

Many patients who visit CCC offices have exhausted their resources with traditional treatments, which are either inadequate, ineffective, or carry a large amount of negative side effects. Doner has performed hundreds of medical cannabis evaluations for patients who are interested in changing their treatment regimen. CCC has a diverse staff of healthcare professionals, who have backgrounds in: pain management, oncology, neurology, pediatrics, gastroenterology, immunology, primary care, rehabilitation, emergency medicine, and more.

How Medical Cannabis Works

When a person uses marijuana, cannabinoids from the plant bind to cannabinoid receptors in the human body. The receptors are a part of the Endocannabinoid system which is the pain-mitigation system in humans. Many doctors agree that if human internal cannabinoids can help modulate pain, then the cannabinoids from plants could also produce the same effects.

In many cases, CCC doctors are able to provide patients with medical cannabis derived medications that provide therapeutic effects and have minimal to zero psychoactive components, such as Cannabidiols (CBD).

CBD is a compound of cannabis that is non-psychoactive, which means it does not induce a high Legal in 45 states, CBDs are a potent anti-inflammatory, offering pain-relieving effects. Currently, there are 5,000 patients through CCC using CBDs as part of their treatment regimen.

Recent studies and surveys have found many patients turned to cannabis treatments because they experienced fewer negative side effects in comparison to opioids. “Medical cannabis can also help patients with the acute symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as nausea, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and anxiety,” Doner explained.

CCC has its own branded CBD line available for purchase online and at its locations. For more information visit

CCC Locations:

  • Pittsburgh
  • Carlisle
  • Irwin
  • Butler
  • Natrona Heights
  • Harrisburg*
  • Clarion*
  • Erie*

*coming soon

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