Now that more of the country has medical marijuana laws on the books it seems like the medical community should be performing more scientific research on the benefits and risk factors associated with cannabis.
The one aspect in particular that most politicians are comfortable with is that Cannabis is a good alternative to opioids and maybe the best way to battle the opioid crisis. People in pain get addicted. Cannabis helps with pain and long term might be more effective while not causing the dependency that opioids do. One study found that 84% of patients reduced opioid use if they had access to medical marijuana compared to those who didn’t have access only 45% reduced use of opioids.
On average opiods cause 38,000 deaths per year. This is the leading cause of death in American’s under the age of 50.
1) If doctors started with cannabis instead of opioids patients would never get exposed to more harmful drugs.
2) Patients successfully using drugs can switch or decrease their use by using cannabis.
3) opioid replacement therapy can be more effective when cannabis is introduced into treatment
In states with medical cannabis programs there has been a 25% reduction in deaths related to opioid abuse.
re-potentiation – studies show that including marijuana with opioids has a synergistic effect. This is useful because instead of increasing prescription levels cannabis can be added.
The goal is to get doctors to start prescribing cannabis as a first treatment option rather than something they look at after all else fails.