Could increased access to legal cannabis use result in fewer opioid deaths? A recent study published by the BMJ examined the correlation between the two subjects.
From 2014 to 2018, researchers observed 812 counties across the United States in 23 states where legal cannabis dispensaries were able to operate. In all the counties, the average number of dispensaries increased from slightly less than one per county in 2014 to more than four dispensaries by 2018.
When there was an increase from one to two dispensaries in a county, researchers claimed there was a 17% reduction in opioid mortality rates. Deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, also saw a 14% decrease when medical marijuana dispensaries increased from one to two. When there was a similar increase in recreational dispensaries, synthetic opioid deaths dropped by 21%.
While these findings are a good start to a pressing issue, more research is still needed to determine the true cause and effect between these two subjects.
Medical Marijuana As An Alternative To Prescription Medication
Chronic pain is one of the most common medical conditions patients experience and it can often be difficult to treat. In recent years, many doctors have ended up prescribing powerful opioid-based pain medications to patients to help alleviate symptoms. However, these medications are highly addictive and have fueled the U.S. opioid epidemic.
Medical marijuana is a promising, safer alternative to using prescription medications as it lacks the toxic and addictive side effects found in many traditional medications. Cannabis can be effective in alleviating chronic pain associated with the following conditions:
Neck and back pain
Accident and injury-related pain
If you are suffering from chronic pain and are interested in obtaining your Ohio medical marijuana card, give us a call today at (866) 457-5559 to learn more or schedule an appointment.