Medical Marijuana May Lead to Fewer Opioid Rxs

Medical marijuana laws may lead to fewer opioid prescriptions, according to two studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

People who use medical marijuana as an alternative pain reliever may actually dodge the dangers associated with opioid prescriptions, researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of Kentucky suggest.

Both of the studies primarily focused on comparing opioid prescription patterns in states that have medical marijuana laws with states that do not.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky collected and examined Medicare data that detailed opioid prescribing patterns between 2010 and 2015. The results indicated that opioid prescriptions declined dramatically if medical marijuana dispensaries were accessible to people.

“We had about a 14.5% reduction in opiate use when states turned on dispensaries, and about a 7% reduction in opiate use when states turned on home cultivation-based cannabis laws,” said researcher David Bradford, chairman of public policy at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs.

The second team of researchers from the University of Kentucky looked at opioid prescriptions covered by Medicaid between 2011 and 2016, and found that opioid prescriptions decreased by 5.88% in states that allowed the use of medicinal or recreational marijuana.

Although medical marijuana shouldn’t be considered the primary treatment for chronic pain, it could be something that people turn to as a backup if they are battling opioid addiction, according to researchers.


Alanna McCatty

Alanna McCatty

Alanna McCatty is founder and CEO of McCatty Scholars, an organization that devises and implements financial literacy programs for students to combat the nationwide issue of the loss of educational opportunity due to the ramifications of burdensome student debt. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs. She is a graduate of Pace University.


Did you find this article helpful?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

Covid-19: Side Effects of Trump’s Treatments

Covid-19: Side Effects of Trump’s Treatments

President Donald Trump announced (via Twitter, of course) what some considered unthinkable, and others considered inevitable — that he had tested positive for Covid-19. Over the weekend, he received various treatments  — supplements like vitamin D, zinc and melatonin, an experimental antibody combination, an antiviral drug and a powerful anti-inflammatory…

Un-Sheltering Tips for Your Health and Immune System

Un-Sheltering Tips for Your Health and Immune System

As we all emerge from our bubbles of limited contact with others, we are walking straight into the double whammy of flu season and COVID-19 germs. Can your body fight off exposure to the flu and COVID? Your immune system feeds off the basics of life — sleep, movement, food…

  • Advertisement