Study: Patients Report Substituting Cannabis For Opioids, Other Pain Medications

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

According to data published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, patients are successfully substituting cannabis for opioids and other analgesics for the treatment of pain. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Kent State University looked at data from 2,897 self-identified medical cannabis patients, of which 97% of those who acknowledged using opioid medications within the past 6 months were able to decrease their intake with thanks to the use of cannabis. Ninety-two percent of respondents also claimed cannabis had fewer side effects than opioids, and eighty-two percent said medical cannabis provided better relief and symptom management. Of the participants who had taken nonopioid-based pain medications, 96% were able to reduce their usage after beginning cannabis use, and 92% claimed medical cannabis was the more effective option. Authors explained, “[M]ore people are looking at cannabis as a viable treatment for everyday ailments such as muscle soreness and inflammation. … [T]his study can conclude that medical cannabis patients report successfully using cannabis along with or as a substitute for opioid-based pain medication.”

This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.