Study: Medical Cannabis Registrants More Likely To Cease Using Opioids Compared To Non-Participants

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

According to a new study published in the journal PLOS One, registered medical marijuana patients who use the medication to treat chronic pain are more likely to reduce or cease use of opioids compared to those who are not enrolled and suffer from similar pain conditions. Researchers from the University of New Mexico analyzed prescription use over the course of 21 months in 37 medical marijuana pain patients and 29 non-registered pain patients. They found 83.8% of medical marijuana patients reduced daily opioid use while 44.8% of non-registered patients reduced daily use. Additionally, 40.5% of medical marijuana patients stopped use completely, while only 3.4% of non-registered patients stopped use. Those who enrolled in medical marijuana programs also reported a better quality of life. The authors concluded, “The clinically and statistically significant evidence of an association between MCP enrollment and opioid prescription cessation and reductions and improved quality of life warrants further investigations on cannabis as a potential alternative to prescription opioids for treating chronic pain.”

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

Study: Marijuana Use Linked to Lower Prevalence of Fatty Liver Disease

Photo Credit: Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: Daily Chronic

New population-based case-control data published in Plos One suggests cannabis consumers are less likely to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is the most prevalent form of liver disease in humans. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and John Hopkins University in Baltimore analyzed the relationship between cannabis use and NAFLD in a group of 5.9 million hospitalized patients over 18 across the nation. NAFLD was 15% lower in occasional marijuana users that non-users, and 52% lower in habitual users. Researchers wrote, “We observed a strong dose-dependent reduction in the prevalence of NAFLD with cannabis use suggesting that cannabis use might suppress or reverse NAFLD development.”

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

New Study Suggests Cannabis Users Have Lower Risk of Fatty Liver Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana, Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana, Inc.

A new population-based case-control study published in PLOS ONE suggests cannabis use may prevent non-alcohol related fatty liver disease. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School found non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was 15% in non-dependent cannabis users and 52% lower in dependent users. Lead researcher Terence Ndonyi Bukong says of the study, “We observed a strong dose-dependent reduction in the prevalence of NAFLD with cannabis use suggesting that cannabis use might suppress or reverse NAFLD development.” Using the 2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Survey (NIS), the researchers looked at 5,950,391 discharge records of patients who were 18 years or older and then isolated those patients with NAFLD. Then, they separated those with NAFLD into groups of non-cannabis users (98.04%), non-dependent cannabis users (1.75%), and dependent cannabis users (.22%). Among cannabis users, dependent users had 43% lower prevalence of NAFLD than non-dependent users.

This study supports previous findings, and has huge implications for those who suffer from fatty liver disease, which is the term used to describe too much fat accumulation that has been stored in the liver, and it is the most common form of chronic liver disease in the United States. This illness can lead to many other problems like steatohepatits, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and even hepatocellular carcinoma. While this study is positive, more research is desired as it did not investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for these benefits. Researchers say, “Due to our inability to draw direct causation effects from our cross-sectional studies, we suggest prospective basic and human studies to decipher the mechanistic details of how the various active ingredients in cannabis modulate NAFLD development.”

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and provided by our Chief Medical Officer. You can access the full study here