Study: Medical Cannabis Patients Report Decreased Use Of Opioids, Anti-Anxiety Medicines

Scranton, PA: Patients with legal access to medical cannabis decrease their use of opioids, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and other medications, according to self-report data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

A team of investigators from five states surveyed the medical history of over 1,500 patient-members of state-licensed dispensaries located throughout the northeast.

Authors reported that 77 percent of respondents acknowledged having reduced their use of opioids following cannabis therapy. A significant percentage of respondents also reported decreasing their consumption of anti-anxiety medications (72 percent), migraine-related medications (67 percent), sleep aids (65 percent), and anti-depressants (38 percent). Forty-two percent of respondents also reported reducing their alcohol intake.

The study’s findings are consistent with those of others reporting that patients with legal cannabis access are less likely to use or abuse opioids, as well as various other prescription medications, including anti-anxiety medicines and anti-depressants.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Substitution of medical cannabis for pharmaceutical agents for pain, anxiety, and sleep,” appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.