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Study: Patients Use Fewer Opioids Following enrolling Medical Marijuana Program

July 10, 2019

Study: Patients Use Fewer Opioids Following enrolling Medical Marijuana Program

As per the data that was published recently in the journal "Annals of Pharmacotherapy", patients who suffer from chronic pain usually decrease their dependency on opioids following after enrolling in state-sanctioned medical cannabis access programs.

A team of investigators from a non-profit healthcare provider (the Health East Care Systems) carried out a study on a group of 77 intractable pain patients that were recently enrolled in the state's medical cannabis access program (Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program), the idea was to assess the use of opioids and benzodiazepines in these subjects. The investigators were able to report that "a statistically significant decrease in MME (milligram morphine equivalents) to both 3 and 6 months when compared from the baseline."

Similar trends have been demonstrated in separate studies that were carried out on patients who are enrolled in other states' cannabis programs.

At the end of the study, the authors were able to conclude the following:

"Over the course of this 6-month retrospective study, patients using medical cannabis for intractable pain may have experienced a significant reduction in the average MME available for pain control. A non-statistically significant difference in average benzodiazepine dose was observed. The results of this study add to the currently mixed body of evidence suggesting that medical cannabis may be effective for treating pain."

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