Legal medical marijuana has been linked with reduced opioid use according to a new study conducted by the American Medical Association. Results add more evidence to the argument that legal marijuana can curb and manage opioid use, and could have a significant impact on the opioid crisis.
The study, published in JAMA Oncology, analyzed the results of thousands of patients with different types of cancer.
Researchers explained that the study was conducted in order to explore the links that exist between marijuana legalization and opioid use. They concluded that medical marijuana curbed opioid use and provided an alternate route for treatment.
“Findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that medical marijuana legalization implemented from 2012 to 2017 was associated with a lower rate of opioid dispensing and pain-related hospital events among some adults receiving treatment for newly diagnosed cancer,” they wrote.
“The nature of these associations and their implications for patient safety and quality of life need to be further investigated,” researchers added.
Despite the fact that the study had some limitations and that the topic of marijuana and opioids should be researched further, the results are still important and should at least prove how important it is to conduct the necessary research on the matter.
Previous studies have found similar connections, with medical marijuana giving patients suffering from different conditions an alternative to opioids, and that the new industry has the power to impact pharmaceutical companies.
While many things remain unknown about cannabis and its relationship with opioid use, it remains important to explore this connection and figure out if the plant could become a healthier outlet for people suffering from various medical ailments.