Medical Cannabis Found To Reduce Opioid Use
The amount of people becoming reliant on opioid-based prescription medicine is at an all-time high, and so are the overdoses that go with them. Science thinks the solution lies with cannabis.
You know how there is now evidence to suggest that cannabis is actually an exit drug, not a gateway drug? Well, another study has just backed the claim up – further disintegrating one of the age-old myths about cannabis use.
SUBSTITUTING CANNABINOIDS FOR OPIOIDS
According to recent research published in the Journal of Pain, chronic pain sufferers who have access to medicinal cannabis significantly decrease their reliance on opioid-based medicine.
The research was carried out by a team from the University of Michigan in the USA. 244 chronic pain sufferers with legal access to medical marijuana in the state were surveyed about their medication habits, and how access to cannabis had affected them.
It was found that a significant majority of the patients were substituting cannabis for opioids and other pain medication, and finding the cannabis to be much more effective and agreeable – not only reducing pain but also improving quality of life.
The authors concluded, “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.”
A GROWING TREND
This is not the only research to find that cannabis is an extremely effective alternative to dangerous opioid-based drugs - that often come laden with side effects. For example, in February, clinical trials concluded that long-term cannabis use improved pain relief, life outcomes, and quality of sleep for pain sufferers resistant to conventional treatment. Another study found that chronic pain sufferers who used cannabis daily for a year had improved quality of life, lesser pain perception, and none of the serious side effects associated with opioid-based medicine when compared with a control.
Painkiller overdose has become a leading cause of death across the globe, with some coroners here in the EU estimating that 82% of overdoses are from prescription medication, with roughly 48% of those being from opioids. This varies country to country within the EU, but one thing is for certain, the numbers of people needlessly dying because they are using opioids is scarily high. Evidence like that lined out above is showing there doesn’t need to be a reliance on such a devastating family of drugs. The ever growing evidence that cannabis could be the key is undeniable. It is time for politicians to start paying attention to the science, rather than the ideology behind this beneficial herb.
Written by: Josh
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