Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and HelloMD questioned nearly 3000 pain patients about medical cannabis and opioid consumption.
The study found that given a choice, patients would overwhelmingly choose cannabis over prescription opiates, with 81% of the group agreeing that cannabis was more effective in treating pain.
The study also revealed that cannabis, when used in conjunction with opioids, was effective at lowering side effects, cravings, withdrawal severity and could even enhance the pain-relieving effects of opioids, allowing patients to lower their dose and thus reduce the risk of overdose.
Other highlights from the landmark study showed that 92% of the participants preferred medical cannabis over their pharmaceutical prescriptions (opioid or other) to control pain. Although this research focused on patient responses and perceptions, the results show amazing potential for cannabis as an alternative to the over-prescribed opioid. Dr. Reiman had this to say about cannabis' potential to curb opioid abuse:
“The treatment of pain has become a politicized business in the United States. The result has been the rapidly rising rate of opioid related overdoses and dependence. Cannabis has been used throughout the world for thousands of years to treat pain and other physical and mental health conditions. Patients have been telling us for decades that this practice is producing better outcomes than the use of opioid based medications.”
The study was conducted by Amanda Reiman, PhD, Perry Solomon, MD and Mark A. Welty, Ph.D.
The findings from this study are incredibly illuminating and indicate that cannabis has a part to play in curbing opioid abuse. We wanted to show this study in a meaningful and clear way, and produced an art print on the subject.
Sources: Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Jan 2017. http://doi.org/10.1089/can.2017.0012