Patients Substituting Marijuana for Prescription Pain Medications

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Patients Substituting Marijuana for Prescription Pain Medications


As the use of medical cannabis is increasing, patients are using less of their prescription (opioid) pain medications and more medical cannabis. According to new research, a study was conducted to investigate if patients with legal access to medical cannabis were using it instead of their other prescription medications. Research showed that many patients preferred to use the medical cannabis provided to them rather than other opioids and prescription medications. Brian J. Piper of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, the study’s corresponding author said, “Among 1,500 medical cannabis patients, three-quarters that used opioids reported a reduction in their use after starting medical cannabis. Over-two thirds also reported a reduction in anti-anxiety, migraine, and sleep medications.”

Piper was teaching neuropharmacology courses and invited a medical (MED) as a guest-lecturer to discuss about medical cannabis and its role in health care.

He was simultaneously conducting a pharmacoepidemiology research in regards to the enormous rates of prescription drug use and misuse. This led him and other members of the research team to further study about whether there was a “substitution effect” for medical cannabis and the benefits of medical cannabis for patients.

The study involved patients from medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. The marijuana dispensaries worked closely with them to conduct this study. Online surveys were sent to these patients, most of them with chronic pain.

Piper explained that various methodologies including patient surveys and epidemiological studies have shown that medical cannabis patients reduce their use of opioid-type medications. This supports the idea that the “substitution effect” of medical cannabis may also apply to other types of medications.

As more and more research is conducted on this topic, people will understand the importance of medical cannabis and its medical benefits. More importantly, doctors, pharmacists and patients will be able to openly discuss about medical marijuana as a substitution and realize its medical advantages.

At PipeDreemz Inc. our interest is all things marijuana. Our roots were started 17 years ago when we saw first hand the benefits of  Medicinal Marijuana. Today we continue to expand the possibilities and potential of marijuana by changing the world one garden at a time. Come and explore our website and facebook page for a cross section of information about the possibilities of marijuana as medicine and recreational use.

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