New Study Suggests Cannabis Could Help Ease The Opioid Epidemic

AUSTIN, Texas — A new study suggests that cannabis could help ease the deadly opioid epidemic in the United States. Participants reported “a notable decrease in their use of conventional pharmaceutical agents,” including a 42-percent drop in the use of opiates, according to the pilot study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology on Oct. 13. The study also suggested that the cognitive function of some medical marijuana users improved over a three-month period. However, the authors warn that the study’s sample size was too small to be considered conclusive. Twenty-four patients were involved in the initial sample, and 11 returned for follow-up tests on their cognitive abilities three months after initiating treatment. “While intriguing, these findings are preliminary and warrant further investigation at additional time points and in larger sample sizes,” the authors wrote.

Despite its preliminary nature, the Frontiers study joins a growing number of anecdotal reports that cannabis may help chronic pain patients reduce their use of prescription painkillers and help addicts ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Carrie Roberts, a legal cannabis industry consultant with a background in law enforcement, told MintPress News that she’s excited about the potential benefits of cannabis in treating addiction. “I’m really passionate about how cannabis can be a solution to our current opioid epidemic,” she said. Roberts is a senior consultant at Medicine Man Technologies, where she helps new businesses navigate the complicated legal and regulatory landscape of the cannabis industry. And as a recovering alcoholic and someone whose best friend died of a heroin overdose in 2004, she said she has experienced, firsthand, the suffering caused by addition. “We’ve demonized and stigmatized and criminalized addiction for so long and we shouldn’t be treating addicts like criminals,” Roberts said. “We need to treat them like human beings.” An unprecedented epidemic of addiction to heroin and opioid drugs is unfolding in the United States, and many experts agree that previous ways of approaching the issue are proving ineffective. On Nov. 17, the surgeon general issued a detailed report, “Facing Addiction In America,” which urges medical professionals and policymakers to treat addiction as a chronic illness, rather than a moral failing on the part of the addict. “A lot of time…

Source: MintPressNews

New Study Suggests Cannabis Could Help Ease The Opioid Epidemic

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