Study: Patients Report Choosing Marijuana Over Opioids for Pain

Canada International Medical

More than half the medical marijuana patients in a new study said they use cannabis to help them get off heavier prescription drugs, with the largest percentage saying pot acts as a substitute painkiller for opioids.

The new research, published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Drug Policy but funded by a licensed cannabis grower Tilray, adds to a small body of science that suggests patients are effectively using marijuana to replace opioids, a class of legal and illicit painkillers that has led to an ongoing crisis that killed hundreds of Canadians last year.

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The study of 271 Tilray patients found 53 percent were using the drug for pain, with the next most common reason being the treatment of mental-health issues, such as eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder, at 15 percent. Of those who claimed they had dropped pharmaceutical drugs for cannabis, 32 percent switched from opioids; 16 percent from benzodiazepines and 12 percent from anti-depressants.

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