For years, researchers have been collecting data demonstrating that Americans who consume cannabis are substituting the herb for opioids and prescription pharmaceuticals. A new study reveals which kinds of drugs are being replaced by cannabis.
According to Canadian study, here are the substances that are being squeezed out by cannabis:
- All prescription drugs: 63 Percent
- Pharmaceutical opioids: 30 Percent
- Alcohol: 25 Percent
- Benzodiazepines: 16 Percent
- Antidepressants: 12 Percent
- Tobacco: 12 Percent
- Illicit drugs: 3 Percent
Of those substituting cannabis, 42 percent admit that they are are acquiring their herb from illegal and unregulated sources.
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Last lear, Eaze, a three-year-old California cannabis delivery company, released a survey that showed 82 percent say they drink less alcohol because of their cannabis consumption and 11 percent quite drinking booze altogether because of marijuana.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 90,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes per year.
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The Eaze survey also revealed that 95 percent of those medicating with cannabis report using fewer pain pills than they normally would have without cannabis.
Other studies show similar results. A recent University of Michigan study suggested that medical marijuana patients “reported a 64 percent reduction in their use of more traditional prescription pain medications known as opioids.”
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There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for prescription opiates in the treatment of chronic pain, the University of Michigan study said. “When used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, resulting in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side-effects) by patients in a clinical setting. Additionally, cannabinoids can prevent the development of tolerance to and withdrawal from opiates, and can even rekindle opiate analgesia after a prior dosage has become ineffective. Novel research suggests that cannabis may be useful in the treatment of problematic substance use.”