Study: Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Opioid Use, Leads to Cost Savings

Using medical cannabis results in improved quality of life, reduced opiod use, and cost savings from reduced prescription drug purchases, according to a new study of patients enrolled in New York’s medical cannabis program.

“Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain”, begins the study’s abstract. “With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater.”

With this in mind, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and GPI Clinical Research conducted a “retrospective, mirror-image study that investigated MC’s effectiveness in patients suffering from chronic pain associated with qualifying conditions for MC in New York State.” The primary outcome “was to compare European Quality of Life 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS) scores at baseline and 3 months post-therapy.” The secondary outcomes “included comparisons of monthly analgesic prescription costs and opioid consumption pre- and post-therapy.” Tolerability was assessed by side effect incidence.

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CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta Urges Jeff Sessions to Support Medical Marijuana, Especially to Combat Opiod Epidemic

CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is publicly urging United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reconsider his opposition to medical cannabis, particularly as a way to fight the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)

Gupta wrote a public letter to Sessions, saying that he had changed his mind on the use of medical cannabis, “and I am certain you can, as well”, reports the Associated Press.

Gupta says he made his plea to Sessions after he declined to be interviewed for his special on the topic, Weed 4, which aired on CNN on Sunday, April 29, 2018. The special followed football player Mike James and others who say that medical marijuana has both eased the pain of injuries and weaned them from addiction to opioids. A spokesperson for Sessions declined to comment.

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