The use of medical marijuana as a substitute for opioids and other pharmaceutical medications has become a hot topic lately as the opioid substance abuse has reached new heights, and evidence supporting this substitution continues to mount. A study conducted by the Centre of Addictions Research of British Columbia and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review found 80.3% of the 473 medical marijuana patients examined reported substituting cannabis for prescription drugs, especially those using prescriptions to treat pain.
These new findings support previous studies that found patients preferred cannabis over their prescription medications. Within these various studies, patients cited cannabis as having greater effectiveness in symptom relief, fewer unpleasant side effects, less withdrawal potential, and a reduced risk for addiction. Currently, the United States faces a problem of overprescription and overuse of opioid medication, which can lead to substance abuse and dependency. Access to medical marijuana would not only provide patients effective symptom relief without unwanted side effects, but it would also impact the substance abuse epidemic facing the nation.
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