Medical Cannabis Patients Use Less Opioids, Antidepressants, and Alcohol, Study Finds

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Medical cannabis patients use less opioids, antidepressants, and alcohol, study finds

Upon using medical cannabis, patients in pain and those suffering from other medical conditions reduced their use of opioids, antidepressants, sleep medications, alcohol, and other dangerous substances, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Medical Cannabis led to decrease in use of dangerous substances

Saludmóvil™ had a chance to speak with a lead researcher on the study, Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

“So what we found is that after starting medical marijuana that many of the patients that were previously using opioids reduced the use of those agents,” Dr. Piper said. “So over three-quarters of the medical marijuana patients who were using opioids decreased the use of those agents.”

A breakdown of the study’s findings by numbers

According to the online survey of 1,513 people, 66.1 percent were from Maine, 24.2 percent were from Vermont, and 9.7 percent were from Rhode Island.

The researchers found a 76.7 percent drop in regular opioid use, 37.6 percent dip in antidepressant use, and a 42.0 percent drop in alcohol use.

In addition, the majority of respondents also cut down their use of other dangerous drugs after using medical cannabis.

  • 71.8 percent of patients used less anti-anxiety medications;
  • 66.7 percent used less migraine medications;
  • 65.2 percent used less sleep medications.

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