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New Study Finds Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid Prescriptions

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A new study conducted by Weill Cornell Medical College and the University of California San Diego and published in the journal Addiction found “that statewide medical cannabis legalization implemented in 1993 – 2014 in the U.S. was associated with close to 30% reductions in Schedule III opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.”

The researchers clearly established a solid link between lower opioid use and prescription fillings in medical marijuana states, reports Forbes. On top of the federal savings, state Medicaid programs have saved $6.54 million. The biggest reduction was noticed in Schedule III opioids prescriptions.

The study indicated: “[E]vidence suggested that cannabis provides mild to moderate relief from pain, on par with Codeine, making cannabis a better alternative to Schedule III opioids. Although there is emerging evidence suggesting that cannabis is effective in treating severe pain, no studies compared the analgesic efficacy of the cannabinoids with Schedule II opioids. Due to the concern of cannabis’ lack of efficacy on severe pain symptoms, patients prescribed Schedule II opioids might be less likely to switch to medical cannabis and physicians might be less likely to recommend medical cannabis to these patients.”


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