Patients registered to use medical cannabis decrease their use of opioids, according to data compiled by researchers at the University of New Mexico.
Investigators assessed the use of prescription opioids over an 18-month period among patients enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program compared to similar patients who were not.
They reported that subjects with access to medical cannabis reduced their use of opioids by 31 percent while those not in the program experienced a slight increase in opioid use over this same time period.
The findings are consistent with those of other studies reporting that patients with cannabis access reduce their use of prescription medications.
Separate studies further report lower rates of opioid misuse and mortality in jurisdictions where medical marijuana is legally permitted.