Legalization of medical marijuana reduces opioid use

Medical marijuana reduces the number of prescribed doses of opioid drugs, according to an article published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The research was made by American scientists who studied a correlation between the change in the legal status of marijuana in the US states from 2010 to 2015 and the number of doses of hydrocodone and morphine prescribed.

Natural Consistency with Cannabis

In the past years, American doctors have prescribed more drugs containing opioids to relieve the pain, and this led to high analgesic and other side effects. Opioids are also known to lead to a strong dependence, an increase in mortality from an overdose, and other issues.

The main benefit of cannabis is its natural consistency. It is a natural plant, so why do we still buy pharmaceuticals while research shows that cannabis can be an effective alternative?

Controlling the Official Turnover of Opioid Drugs with Marijuana

However, one of the best ways to control the official turnover of opioid drugs is the use of medical marijuana. In accordance with US federal law, marijuana is prohibited but is regulated at the state level. Today, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is permitted in 25 states (in several of them also recreationally).

Researching the Effects of Legal Cannabis on Opioid Use Statistics

Scientists have found that the legal status of marijuana significantly reduced opioid use. In states where marijuana can only be obtained by prescription in special institutions, the number of doses of opioid drugs decreased by 3.7 million, and in those states where citizens are allowed to grow cannabis only at home at 1.8 million.

The research at the University of Georgia, led by Grace Adams, analyzed data on the number of opioid drugs prescribed by doctors from 2010 to 2015. This research was conducted in order to test how the legal status of cannabis affects opioid use by patients.

Cannabis for Pain Management

Unlike opioids, cannabis is a natural plant. Numerous studies have found that marijuana is an effective painkiller. Especially when it comes to chronic pain. At the same time, it does not have such side effects as traditional medicine.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 44 Americans die every day from painkillers overdose. Not everyone treats anxiety and concern with medication, but still, such people are full. Many of them could refuse traditional drugs with a sedative effect of cannabis.

Battling Opioid Dependence with Medical Marijuana

Also, cannabis can treat opioid dependence. In the states where the use of cannabis for medical purposes is allowed, doctors annually prescribe an average of 1,826 daily doses of painkillers less than in other regions of the United States.

Marijuana replaces prescription pain relievers, in particular from a number of opioids. The risk of overdosing with drugs containing opioids is significantly reduced.