As we reported previously, scientists from the University of New Mexico have been studying how access to marijuana may help alleviate the opioid crisis, declared a national emergency by President Trump. Their study has now been published in the journal PLOS One, with the researchers concluding that there is “clinically and statistically significant evidence” that increased cannabis use led to patients cutting down on opioids and improved their quality of life.
The study analyzed the health data of 66 patients who were using opioids habitually to manage their severe chronic pain. 37 of the patients were enrolled in a medical marijuana program between 2010 and 2015 while 29 patients in the control group were not.
The scientists found that patients using cannabis were 17 times more likely to stop their prescribed opioids and five times more likely to lower their daily dosage of opioids. On average, they cut their doses in half. Comparatively, the patients not enrolled in the medical marijuana program actually increased their opioid usage by more than 10%.