Medical Cannabis Access Associated With Decreased Opioid Use In Chronic Pain Patients

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

According to data published online in the Journal of Pain, chronic pain patients who can legally access medical marijuana use far less opioids. In a retrospective survey of 244 chronic pain patients qualified to consume medical cannabis and with access to a dispensary, investigators at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor found respondents likely substituted cannabis for opiates and claimed marijuana was more effective.

Investigators wrote, "Among study participants, medical cannabis use was associated with a 64% decrease in opioid use, decreased number and side effects of medications, and an improved quality of life. This study suggests that many chronic pain patients are essentially substituting medical cannabis for opioids and other medications for chronic pain treatment, and finding the benefit and side effect profile of cannabis to be greater than these other classes of medications."

This information supports the findings of various other studies on the use of cannabis for pain treatment and opioid replacement. According to the CDC, about 40 people in the U.S. die daily from opioid overdoses, so these results bring welcomed news, pointing to a safer future in pain treatment. This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.