Legal medical marijuana linked to reduced opioid use in cancer patients

Legal medical marijuana has been linked to reduced opioid use, according to a new study by the American Medical Association. The findings provide further evidence for the argument that legal marijuana can curb and control opioid use and could have a significant impact on the opioid crisis.

The study, published in JAMA Oncology, analyzed the outcomes of thousands of patients with different types of cancer.

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The researchers explained that the study was conducted to examine the links that exist between legalization of marijuana and opioid use. They concluded that medical marijuana curbed opioid use and offered an alternative course of treatment.

“The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that the 2012-2017 legalization of medical marijuana was associated with lower rates of opioid dispensing and pain-related hospital events in some adults treated for newly diagnosed cancer,” they wrote.

RELATED: Another study finds an association between medical marijuana and less opioid use

“The nature of these associations and their implications for patient safety and quality of life need further investigation,” the researchers added.

prescription drugs opioidsPhoto by Christina Victoria Craft via Unsplash

Despite the fact that the study had some limitations and the topic of marijuana and opioids should be further explored, the results are still important and should at least prove the importance of doing the necessary research on the topic.

RELATED: Study: Medical cannabis may lead to reduced opioid dependence in advanced cancer patients

Previous studies have found similar associations, with medical marijuana offering patients with various medical conditions an alternative to opioids and the new industry having the power to influence pharmaceutical companies.

While many things remain unknown about cannabis and its relationship to opioid use, it remains important to research this connection and see if the plant could become a healthier outlet for people suffering from various medical ailments.

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