More research shows opioid use slashed thanks to cannabis

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Chronic pain patients find overwhelming relief from cannabis and stop using opioids as a result

The idea that cannabis serves as a better pain reliever than opioids is not new, but it has taken some getting used to. Pain relief is one of the main reasons most people use cannabis, according to numerous studies, and continued research backs up its position as a better alternative than opioids. There have been numerous casualties and addictions as a result of opioid use and abuse; however, new research shows that more adults are able to find better relief, with no addiction side effects, through cannabis and are even able to break their opioid habits.

The medical journal Cureus recently published a test that involved 550 chronic pain patients who were treated at three licensed medical cannabis clinics in the US. It was one of the first to explore patients who also were taking prescribed opioids, and looked at how cannabis and the opioids interacted and what happened once cannabis consumption began. According to wrote lead author Kevin Takakuwa, MD, “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.”

The cannabis, a blend of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), was administered orally in small doses, with the amount increased until its effect was felt by the patient. 48% reported a significant decrease in their pain, and 87% reported an improved quality of life. 40% stopped taking opioids completely, while another 45% reduced their reliance on the prescription alternative. Almost two-thirds, about 65%, were able to maintain the reduced pain levels for a year and 63% acknowledged they had no desire to return to opioid use.