Study: Consumers of CBD Products Reduce Their Use of Other Medications

Chicago, IL: The short-term use of oral CBD products is associated with a decrease in patients’ use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, according to data published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

Researchers assessed the use of various oral CBD products in a cohort of 1,160 subjects between the ages of 18 and 75. All CBD products were lab-tested for potency and purity before being provided to study subjects. Participants consumed CBD products ad libitum for four weeks.

Participants were most likely to report using CBD for purposes of pain management, reducing stress/anxiety, and improving sleep. Most subjects reported symptom improvements and better overall health following CBD treatment. Thirty-one percent of study participants “decreased or stopped their use of OTC drugs, and 19.2 percent decreased or stopped the use of Rx drugs” during the study – a finding that is consistent with other data.

Patients using CBD for pain relief were most likely to either reduce or eliminate their use of other medications. 

Authors concluded, “CBD self-administration significantly improves self-perception of general health and decreases symptom severity, and as these improve, fewer OTC and Rx drugs are used.”

Data published last year in the journal Drugs & Aging reported that between 20 percent and one-third of older adults who consume CBD-dominant cannabis products for medical purposes reduce their use of prescription opioids and benzodiazepines. 

Numerous other studies have similarly documented reductions in patients’ consumption of prescription and over-the-counter medicines following their use of medical cannabis. 

Full text of the study, “Long-term, self-dosing CBD users: Indications, dosage, and self-perceptions on general health/symptoms and drug use,” appears in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Additional information is available in the NORML Fact Sheet, “Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.”