As the research stacks up, cannabis is looking more and more like a viable solution to the opioid crisis. A new study shows that opioid use dropped while quality of life increased for medical marijuana patients suffering from chronic pain.
The study comes out of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy. Using the European Quality of Life 5 Dimension Questionnaire as well as the Pain Quality Assessment Scale, the researchers measured 29 patients' level of pain and quality of life before cannabis use, and 3 months after receiving medicinal marijuana.
When the data was analyzed at the end of the study it was found that most of the patients benefited from medical marijuana use.
"[Medical cannabis] improved quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings," the study states.
The researchers see this as a string indication that it's time for a change in the way we treat patients with chronic pain.
"In spite of a national opioid epidemic and sparse evidence supporting long-term use, opioids are still used to treat CP conditions," write the researchers. "Owing to their nature of rapidly developing tolerance, 1 in 4 people treated in the primary care setting with opioids for chronic non-cancer pain develop opioid use disorder. Clearly, there is a need to transition many patients maintained on chronic opioids to safer, more effective therapies."