Study: Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Opioid Use, Leads to Cost Savings

Using medical cannabis results in improved quality of life, reduced opiod use, and cost savings from reduced prescription drug purchases, according to a new study of patients enrolled in New York’s medical cannabis program.

“Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain”, begins the study’s abstract. “With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater.”

With this in mind, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and GPI Clinical Research conducted a “retrospective, mirror-image study that investigated MC’s effectiveness in patients suffering from chronic pain associated with qualifying conditions for MC in New York State.” The primary outcome “was to compare European Quality of Life 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS) scores at baseline and 3 months post-therapy.” The secondary outcomes “included comparisons of monthly analgesic prescription costs and opioid consumption pre- and post-therapy.” Tolerability was assessed by side effect incidence.

“After 3 months treatment, MC improved quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings”, states the study. Adverse effects – which included things such as  nausea, headaches and dry mouth – were reported in just 10% of subjects.

Researchers conclude by stating that “Large randomized clinical trials are warranted to further evaluate the role of MC in the treatment of chronic pain.”

For more information on this study, click here.

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