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By Joe Klare

A new study from researchers at UC Berkeley and shows that most patients prefer using cannabis instead of opioid-based medications to treat their pain. Working with UC Berkeley, HelloMD surveyed its patient database, collecting data from close to 3,000 participants. Among their key findings:

  • 97% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they could decrease their opioid use when using cannabis
  • 92% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they prefer cannabis to treat their medical condition
  • 81% “strongly agreed/ agreed” that cannabis by itself was more effective than taking cannabis with opioids. The results were similar when using cannabis with non-opioid based pain medications.

“The latest publication from the National Academy of Sciences clearly refuted the ‘gateway drug’ theory that using marijuana can lead to opioid addiction, instead finding evidence of cannabis having multiple curative benefits,” said Dr. Perry Solomon, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. “Our study further substantiates this. Hopefully this will awaken the public, medical professionals and legislatures to the fact that cannabis is a safe, non-addictive product, available to help fight the opioid epidemic.”

“The treatment of pain has become a politicized business in the United States,” said Amanda Reiman, formerly of the Drug Policy Alliance and currently a lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley. “The result has been the rapidly rising rate of opioid related overdoses and dependence. Cannabis has been used throughout the world for thousands of years to treat pain and other physical and mental health conditions. Patients have been telling us for decades that this practice is producing better outcomes than the use of opioid based medications. It’s past time for the medical profession to get over their reefer madness and start working with the medical cannabis movement and industry to slow down the destruction being caused by the over prescribing and overuse of opioids.”

As overdose deaths from opioid pain medications continue to rise, more and more people will choose cannabis over the dangerous and addictive medications their doctors try to force on them. Yet another reason marijuana legalization is so important.