A new survey showed nearly half of 2,697 Canadian patients with medical Cannabis access said they substitute marijuana for opioids, reports Benzinga.
According to the Journal of Cannabis Research, half of those who acknowledged they use marijuana in place of prescription drugs said they do so for opioids. Meanwhile a substantial number of patients are using Cannabis to minimize their alcohol intake as well.
Interestingly, the survey also showed nearly one in three patients didn’t tell their primary physician they substitute marijuana for prescriptions.
Evidence Continues To Grow
Evidence marijuana can work as a substitute for prescription drugs, especially opioids, continues to grow, with more research being conducted.
Two studies presented at the 2022 meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons showed patients with chronic back pain and osteoarthritis can reduce or even eliminate the use of opioids.
An analysis by Cornell University additionally showed people with anxiety, sleep disturbances, pain or seizures with legal mariuana reduce prescriptions.
Consistent With Dozens Of Other Studies
Patients reporting that they use marijuana in place of prescription medications is consistent with dozens of other studies, reports NORML.
Many respondents also reported using marijuana to reduce alcohol intake. That finding has also been previously reported in other studies.
“Results suggest that patients often substitute cannabis for other medications without PCP guidance,” authors concluded. ”Future studies should investigate strategies for effectively involving PCPs in patient care around medical cannabis with specific focus on substitution and harm reduction practices.”
“It Is No Wonder”
“Cannabis has established efficacy in the treatment of multiple conditions, including chronic pain,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. ”And it possesses a safety profile is either comparable or superior to other controlled substances.
“So it is no wonder that those with legal access to it are substituting cannabis in lieu of other […] harmful substances,” Armentano said. ”As legal access continues to expand, one would expect the cannabis substitution effect to grow even more pronounced.”
Other studies have shown patients also frequently reduce their consumption of benzodiazepines, sleep aids, and antidepressants after starting medical marijuana.