"These findings suggest that medical and adult-use marijuana laws have the potential to reduce opioid prescribing for Medicaid enrollees, a segment of population with disproportionately high risk for chronic pain, opioid use disorder, and opioid overdose. Nonetheless, marijuana liberalization alone cannot solve the opioid epidemic. As with other policies evaluated in the previous literature, marijuana liberalization is but one potential aspect of a comprehensive package to tackle the epidemic."
"Participants on on opioid agonist therapy (OAT) using cannabis had significantly lower risk of being exposed to fentanyl. Our findings reinforce the need for experimental trials to investigate the potential benefits and risks of controlled cannabinoid administration for people on OAT."
"This article presents results that confirm previous clinical studies suggesting that cannabis may be an effective analgesic and potential opioid substitute. Participants reported improved pain, health, and fewer side effects as rationale for substituting. This article highlights how use duration and intentions for use affect reported treatment and substitution effects."
"We found that the use of prescription drugs in fee-for-service Medicaid was lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without such laws in five of the nine broad clinical areas we studied. If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion. These results are similar to those in a previous study we conducted, regarding the effects of medical marijuana laws on the number of prescriptions within the Medicare population. Together, the studies suggest that in states with such laws, Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries will Lll fewer prescriptions."
"Review of the current literature suggests states that implement MCpol icies could reduce POM-associated mortality, improve pain management, and significantly reduce health care costs. However, MC research is constrained by federal policy restrictions, and more research related to MC as a potential alternative to POM for pain management, MC harms, and its impact on POM-related harms and health care costs should be a priority of public health, medical, and nursing research."
In 2019 12,130 persons went to ERs for overdoses. None for cannabis.
"The results of this study suggest that passing cannabis access laws reduces the use of prescription opioids across several different measures of opioid prescriptions. These empirical effects are net impacts on each of these measures of usage, including both increases and decreases that may have occurred for any individual patient. While cannabis may be a gateway drug that encourages use of opioids in some patients, on balance for the population generally both recreational and medical cannabis access laws decrease opioid use. Thus, the passage of an RCL or MCL may be a valid policy option for combating the ongoing opioid epidemic, even if these laws were not originally conceived for that purpose. While the results here do not suggest that cannabis access laws are the only tool to address prescription opioid use, they do suggest that cannabis access laws could play a meaningful role in addressing the opioid epidemic."
"Studies examining older adults that are utilizing medical cannabis legally have demonstrated significant decreases in prescription medication use, most notably a reduction in opioid analgesic usage. As such, medical cannabis should be viewed as an additional option in the clinician's toolbox of therapeutic interventions for symptom relief.
Over the course of this 6-month retrospective study, patients using medical cannabis for intractable pain experienced a significant reduction in the number of MMEs available to use for pain control. No significant difference was noted in DE from baseline. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm or deny the opioid-sparing effects of medical cannabis when used to treat intractable pain.
For two decades, the opioid crisis has been accelerating. Between 1999 and 2010, overdose deaths related to opioids grew by 9.1% per year, and between 2010 and 2018, by about 12% per year. Between June of 2019 and May of 2020, the rate of overdose deaths grew by 18%.
These estimates imply that 10 per 100,000 (8.5 percent) fewer opioid-related deaths would have occurred between 1999 and 2015 if states that legalized medical cannabis during this period had introduced dispensaries in all counties as soon as the MCL came into effect. Our results have direct policy implications, since we find that MCLs lead to a reduction in opioid-related deaths that is limited to counties where access to medical cannabis is facilitated through the presence of dispensaries.
How cannabis is a safe alternative for those using prescription opioid medications (POMs).
"Looking at medical and recreational dispensaries in 812 counties across 23 states and Washington D.C., they found that an increase from one available dispensary to two is associated with a 17% reduction in opioid-related overdose deaths; an increase from two to three is associated with a further 8.5% reduction."
"With more than 47,000 deaths caused by opioid overdoses in 2017, the ongoing opioid epidemic is arguably the most pressing public health crisis in the United States."
Dronabinol is a licensed form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
"In this population-based, cross-sectional study using the all-capture Medicaid prescription data for 2011 to 2016, medical marijuana laws and adult-use marijuana laws were associated with lower opioid prescribing rates (5.88% and 6.38% lower, respectively)."
"While recent research has shown that cannabis access laws can reduce the use of prescription opioids, the effect of these laws on opioid use is not well understood for all dimensions of use and for the general United States population."
"Report is restricted to N.C. residents between the ages 15 to 65 years."
Medical cannabis laws are associated with significant reductions in opioid prescribing in the Medicare Part D population. This finding was particularly strong in states that permit dispensaries, and for reductions in hydrocodone and morphine prescriptions.