Results from Minnesota study confirm cannabis reduces opioid use

Yet another cannabis study confirmed what we already know more than well — legalizing cannabis lowers the numbers of prescribed and consumed opioids.

Minnesota voters first approved the use of medical marijuana back in 2014, with the first patients enrolling into the program in July 2015.

As of then, the state funded a $51,000 study of patients that treated intractable pain with opioids and substituted them with medical marijuana.

The study focused on 2,245 patients, of which over 800 reported to having back pain and taking drugs primarily to manage that pain in particular.

Same old story with opioids and cannabis

According to the study, 62.6% of the patients either reduced or eliminated the use of opioids after only six months in the medical marijuana program.

In addition to managing intractable pain with marijuana, the patients also felt less anxious and reported improving sleep cycles.

“The benefits extended beyond reduction in pain severity, though that was the benefit mentioned most often. The benefit described second most often was improved sleep, which likely has a synergistic relationship with reduction in pain severity. In some cases improved sleep, reduction of other pain medications and their side effects, decreased anxiety,  improved mobility and function, and other quality of life factors were cited as being the most important benefit.”, the study says.

Here are other notable stats:

  • 54% of patients said medical marijuana provided a high level of benefit
  • 62% reported a reduction in the severity of their pain
  • 27% reported an improvement in their ability to sleep well

One patient even reported feeling so good after only two weeks of treatment that she cooked her first meal in 15 years due to fibromyalgia preventing her.

The intractable pain patients included in this report had a high burden of symptoms, majority had at least moderate levels of fatigue (94%), disturbed sleep (91%), anxiety (77%), depression  (67%), and lack of appetite (53%) – as well as pain.

For each of these symptoms except for pain intensity and fatigue, 30-40% of patients achieved and maintained ≥30% symptom reduction.

Now, if we were gambling, those would be some pretty good numbers to bet on, especially when you have nothing to lose.

With the never-before-seen support from the both sides of the floor in Congress, it is rather amazing how medical cannabis gets little attention for its success.

Meanwhile, president Trump called for a possible execution of opioid dealers during a rally.

According to the Trump administration, prosecutors may call for the death penalty in “certain cases where opioid, including Fentanyl-related, drug dealing, and trafficking are directly responsible for a death.”

Sure, those are not the same opioids being prescribed, but they fall in the same category of drugs as legal opioids.

Let us remind you again that, on the other side, cannabis is federally illegal in the US, but 30 states, as well as Washington DC, have either legalized or decriminalized some form of medical cannabis.

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