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Marijuana might reduce opioid dependence for pain relief, new study finds


A new study shared by High Times supports the case for cannabis as a pain-relief alternative for those dependent on opioids.

Researchers published their findings in the Journal of Psychopharmacology last month after conducting an online survey that evaluated a sample of adults who regularly use opioids for pain management. The subjects took part in “two hypothetical purchase tasks” where participants had access to both cannabis and opioids, but the price of one would increase while the other remained the same.

They found “behavioral economic evidence that cannabis access may modestly reduce demand for opioids in persons who have pain.”

According to the study, demand intensity was significantly reduced while demand elasticity saw an increase. In other words, participants were persuaded by the more affordable of the pain treatment options when both options were made available. The study authors say these findings warrant more research on the connection between cannabis, opioids, and pain relief.

Earlier this year, a CBD website revealed its findings in the 20 states where medical marijuana has been legalized. Out of the 19 surveyed states, 15 appeared to have a notable reduction in opioid prescription rates one year after legalization. Michigan, which has had a medical marijuana program since 2008, was among the four states that saw an increase in opioid usage. This could be due to Michigan's slow rollout of a proper licensing system for medical marijuana provisioning centers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 130 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses.

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