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With the outsider status of medicinal cannabis, information is often gathered through surveys. The December survey included analysis of 525 responses out of the 1,181 given — 656 respondents either did not use opiates for three months to treat their pain or did not use cannabis and opiates together.
“Our results show a remarkable percentage of patients both reporting complete cessation of opioids and decreasing opioid usage by the addition of medical cannabis, with results lasting for over a year for the majority. We hypothesize these effects may be due to the reported synergistic decrease in pain that has been shown with adding cannabis to opioids,” study authors wrote.
“Likely, as a result, the majority expressed not wanting opioids in the future, particularly those in the younger age group. Additional benefits of medical cannabis included improved ability to function and improved quality of life, especially for the younger age group,” they added.
The findings add to a growing body of research. For example, a 2019 study published in The Journal of Painfound that cannabis use was associated with 64 per cent lower opioid use in patients with chronic pain. Researchers also found that cannabis was less likely to cause adverse effects and that marijuana was correlated to a higher quality of life.
Other research from 2017 found that 97 per cent of the 2,897 medical patients surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that cannabis use helped them to lower their opiate use.