Saturday, April 20, 2024

How Does Cannabis Factor Into Teen Usage and Opioid Overdoses?

Two new studies go after what have been considered myths by many. One, that teen cannabis use goes up as more states legalize it and two, that opioid overdoses go down in states that legalize medical usage.

The first study came as no surprise to cannabis activists and supporters, who have been watching the data for decades. California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 and since then 30 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized either medical or recreational with more on the way. Despite the ever challenging cry, “What about the children?” teen use has not gone up with legalization.

Deborah Hasin was the lead on the new study and she found that not only does legalization not send the message to teens that they should use, “it doesn’t seem that teens were impacted much by this,” she admitted, “perhaps because they didn’t find the legalization of medical use very relevant to them or didn’t even know about the laws.”

Or perhaps if they were going to use cannabis they were, and if they weren’t they weren’t, whether or not the adults were doing it.

On the opioid tip, researchers from America, Australia and Britain found “little” to suggest that cannabis quells the want for opiates. The colleagues cautioned, “it is premature to recommend the expansion of access to medical cannabis as a policy to reduce opioid overdose risks in the United States and Canada.”

However, the opiate study goes against other studies that show the opposite to be to be true. Not only do components of cannabis have pain relieving properties, they also provide another kind of relief that eases the need for prescriptions from opiates to benzos. Cannabis calms the mind (when using the appropriate strain) and that’s a big deal. Especially for our veterans, who are dying from prescription overdoses every day.

Every study done on cannabis is a step in the right direction. As we learn more and more about the plant and what it is and isn’t capable of, we find that it is a mellow herb for many, an aggressive one for others and is always the path of least harm when pitted against pills.


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