From acute to chronic, pain is terrible to deal with. For many, when someone is experiencing pain and seeks medication from a physician, they are often prescribed opiate-based painkillers. As the move to switch from addictive and sometimes deadly treatments associated with prescription drugs to medical marijuana continues, a new study shows that most people, when given both pot and painkillers, prefer treating their symptoms with marijuana. The results were published by the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal under the title “Cannabis as a Substitute for Opioid-Based Pain Medication: Patient Self-Report.”
The study surveyed the personal preferences of California residents who used both medical marijuana and opioid-based prescription medication for their pain. There were 2,897 participants who answered questions via email. The majority of medical marijuana users smoked pot in order to obtain the benefits. According to the survey, 50 percent smoked pot, 31 percent vaporized the marijuana, and 10 percent consumed marijuana edibles.
Some of the types of ailments those surveyed suffered include chronic arthritis, fibromyalgia, menstrual pain, and back pain. Emotional and mental health illnesses experienced by those surveyed include chronic depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Not only did the study show that people preferred pot to painkillers, but they said by using pot they were able to reduce the number of painkillers needed to combat their symptoms. Also, they reported fewer side effects from medical marijuana as compared to opioid-based prescription medication. In the study, a whopping 92 percent reported they favored using marijuana instead of painkillers and 93 percent said they would choose marijuana over prescription pills.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States is currently experiencing an epidemic of opioid addiction and opioid-based overdoses. More than half of reported opioid-based overdoses involve prescription medication. When compared to the minuscule number of deaths attributed to marijuana. Though some believe it’s impossible to overdose on marijuana, this simply isn’t the truth. Marijuana does have negative risks associated with it, according to the CDC, and there have been reports of overdose and fatalities attributed to edibles, but the numbers are far lower than what is happening with the opioid epidemic. Because medical marijuana provides a safer alternative to opioid-based medications and can be used under a doctor’s care, the study shows that not only is marijuana often a safer choice, it is what many Americans prefer.
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