The Medical Minute: Is Cannabis an Effective Substitute for Opiate Pain Relievers?

More than 1.5 billion people in the world and an estimated 116 million Americans regularly suffer from chronic pain, and they’re typically prescribed opiate pain relievers to manage their symptoms. But what happens when patients supplement their opiate pain relievers with cannabis?

Researchers wanted to find out what effect both drugs had and whether they led to more addictive behaviors or harder drug use. They released their remarkable findings in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. By examining data from 273 registered medical marijuana patients at a clinic in Michigan, the results showed that using medical marijuana did not increase the likelihood of abusing alcohol or other drugs.

One of the lead authors of the study, Brian Perron, an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan, noted the following:
“…in states where medical marijuana is legal, physicians should be aware that medical marijuana is a potentially safer and more effective treatment than opioids.”

– Read the entire article at Leafly.

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