Opioid abuse and addiction is at an all time high, and studies suggest that the legalization of and increased access to medical cannabis can target this epidemic. We can further see evidence of the decline of opioid use thanks to cannabis by looking at the veteran population in Canada. According to federal data provided to The Globe and Mail, the increased use medical cannabis has been associated with a decline in prescription opiates and benzodiazepines. The records provided by Veterans Affairs Canada showed the number of veterans using benzodiazepines feel 30% between 2012-3016, and veteran use of opiates dropped 17%. At the same time, veterans seeking medical cannabis increased from less than 100 to over 1,700 patients.
This case study is small, but it remains consistent with other studies that suggest patients prefer to replace their prescription medications and opiates with medical cannabis. This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.