Pain Patients Are Switching To Medical Marijuana Instead Of Opioids, American Medical Association Study Shows

Pain Patients Are Switching To Medical Marijuana Instead Of Opioids, American Medical Association Study Shows
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About one in three chronic pain patients report using marijuana as a treatment option, and most of that group has used cannabis as a substitute for other pain medications, including opioids, a new study published by the American Medical Association (AMA) found. The new paper from researchers at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University builds on the growing body of scientific literature indicating that cannabinoids can serve as effective pain management tools for some people and as substitutes for certain pharmaceuticals The cross-sectional study, published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Substance Use And Addiction, involved data from 1,724 adults 18 and older living in 36 states, plus Washington, D.C., from March to April 2022. The analysis was based on data from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) AmeriSpeak panel. “More than half of adults who used cannabis to manage their chronic pain reported that use of cannabis led them to decrease use of prescription opioid, prescription non-opioid, and over-the-counter pain medications, and less than one percent reported that use of cannabis increased their use of these medications,” the authors wrote in the research paper, which received federal funding through the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The high degree of substitution of cannabis with both opioid and non-opioid treatment emphasizes the importance of research to clarify the effectiveness and potential adverse consequences of cannabis,” it says. “Our results suggest that state cannabis laws have enabled access to cannabis as an analgesic treatment despite knowledge gaps in use as a medical treatment for pain.” “Among adults with chronic pain in states with medical cannabis laws, 3 in 10 persons reported using cannabis to manage their pain. Most persons who used cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain reported substituting cannabis in place of other…

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