Study: Most Cannabis Patients Reduce Prescription Drug Intake

A recent survey found 65% of patients were able to reduce or eliminate taking at least one prescription medication after obtaining their medical cannabis registration.

Full story after the jump.

A survey of Florida medical cannabis patients published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids found a majority (65%) reduced or eliminated taking at least one prescription medication after obtaining their medical cannabis registration. The data was collected at Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers at Southwest Florida events and on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University from 157 registered medical cannabis patients. The data was collected from May 2019 to January 2020.

Nearly all respondents surveyed said they consumed cannabis on a daily basis, but 93% said they did not feel dependent on the substance. Another 40% indicated they used high-THC strains only, while 22% said their strains were high-CBD only. The vast majority, 72%, indicated they used strains high in both THC and CBD. Accounting for outliers and non-responses, 110 patients shared the median amount they spent on medical cannabis per month, which was $300. Flower was the preferred method of administration, the survey found.

Patients reported reducing dependence on opioids (18%), anxiolytics (18%), or antidepressants (15%). Additionally, patients reported substituting medical cannabis for NSAIDS and sleep aids. Finally, 81% reported cannabis provided a “good amount” of relief for their symptoms, with relief results ranging from 70% (general inflammation) to 91% (nausea).

“One particularly important finding from the current survey was that the majority (65%) of patients reported either a reduction or complete discontinuation of prescription opioid and/or OTC drugs,” the researchers note. “This complements other work, which has similarly found a reduction in the use of opioids, non-opioid analgesics, benzodiazepines, and antidepressants among MMJ (medical cannabis) patients. These reductions have tremendous implications, as up to 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and physicians often prescribe opioids for their patients.”

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