A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkley, and Kent State University have found that cannabis is strongly preferred over prescription opioids, and cannabis can help reduce the use of such opioids.
“Prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States”, states the study’s introduction section. “Alternatives to opioids for the treatment of pain are necessary to address this issue. Cannabis can be an effective treatment for pain, greatly reduces the chance of dependence, and eliminates the risk of fatal overdose compared to opioid-based medications. Medical cannabis patients report that cannabis is just as effective, if not more, than opioid-based medications for pain.”
The current study “examined the use of cannabis as a substitute for opioid-based pain medication by collecting survey data from 2897 medical cannabis patients.”
34% of the sample reported using opioid-based pain medication in the past 6 months. Respondents “overwhelmingly reported that cannabis provided relief on par with their other medications, but without the unwanted side effects.” 97% of the sample “strongly agreed/agreed” that they are able to decrease the amount of opiates they consume when they also use cannabis, and 81% “strongly agreed/agreed” that taking cannabis by itself was more effective at treating their condition than taking cannabis with opioids. Results were “similar for those using cannabis with nonopioid-based pain medications.”
The study concludes by stating that; “Future research should track clinical outcomes where cannabis is offered as a viable substitute for pain treatment and examine the outcomes of using cannabis as a medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence.”
The full abstract and text of the study can be found by clicking here.