Studies Part 1 - Cannabis as a Powerful Tool Against the Opioid Epidemic

Photo Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer (https://bit.ly/2kFn4bX)

Photo Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer (https://bit.ly/2kFn4bX)

In this three part series, we will discuss a new important study as it pertains to cannabis. In today’s post, we will look at a study from 2017 which was published in both PLoS One and the International Journal of Drug Policy that suggests cannabis could be an important player in the fight against the opioid epidemic, something which is especially important today as opioid addiction runs rampant throughout our communities. In the study, researchers from the University of New Mexico compared opioid use for the treatment of pain among both chronic pain patients who were enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program and those who were not. Of those enrolled in the program, 84% reduced their use of opioids, and 41% stopped opioid use altogether. Those who were not enrolled only reduced their opioid use by 45%. Additionally, those who used medical cannabis reported the medication did not cause serious side effect and improved their overall quality of life. This study supports previous studies which found medical cannabis legalization is associated with fewer opioid-related overdoses and studies which found patients effectively used medical cannabis to manage symptoms and reduce prescription use.

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