Medical marijuana advocates claim cannabis is preferable in comparison with pharmaceutical drugs, and now the Daily Chronic discusses a new study that backs these statements and shows patients with access to medical cannabis really are choosing the plant over their prescription medications.
In a demographic review of patient characteristics published online in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, investigators from the Medical Marijuana Research Institute in Mesa examined 367 medical marijuana cardholders in the state. The patients reported using cannabis for treating a variety of different symptoms, but they all typically said "cannabis provided 'a lot of relief' or 'almost complete relief' of their symptoms and that its efficacy was greater than that of more conventional medications."
Not only was cannabis able to provide greater efficacy in combatting their symptoms, but it also allowed them to reduce their use of pharmaceutical prescriptions. "Over 90 percent of those who reported consuming cannabis to mitigate symptoms of nausea, headache, muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, bowel distress, and chronic pain acknowledged using pharmaceuticals less frequently once they had initiated cannabis therapy." Two previous studies back similar claims.
Substituting cannabis for certain pharmaceutical medications is beneficial for a variety of reasons; it is impossible to overdose on cannabis, cannabis is merely habit forming but not addictive, and cannabis does not offer as many severe and unwanted side effects as some prescription medications.
Go to the Daily Chronic to read the full details of this study.