A new study conducted in Illinois established a connection between medical marijuana and the consumption of opioids. The study was conducted by DePaul and Rush universities on 30 medical marijuana patients. They concluded that patients who used marijuana had a lower rate of opioid consumption.
Patients have stated that the use of marijuana was better to treat some symptoms since it has a fast-reaction. However, there is some belief the result was biased since the only patients who volunteer to participate support marijuana.
The reason why this study is extremely relevant to actuality is due to the abundant consumption of opioids that has been concerning the entire country. An estimate of 15,000 people died in the year of 2015 overdosing their opioid dosages such as methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone.
The release of this study in Illinois is related to their goal of releasing a new legislation that allows marijuana use for patients in need for opioid drugs. The patients would then have an opportunity of trying both resources (opioids and marijuana) and selecting what works the best for them.
An advisor of drug policy, Kevin Sabet, stated that the study “reeks of problems” and that it consists of patients mixing marijuana and other drugs. He is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana and he believes that the medicinal compounds in marijuana should be isolated and used to create new medicines. Those medicines would then have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In response to the critics, DePaul stated that when conducting the study, the one-to-one interaction with patients help understand how the use of cannabis is a powerful resource to some patients. The study reports examples like, a 58-year-old man who substituted marijuana for his seizure medicine which he acknowledges to be “frightening”. Another multiple sclerosis patient said that marijuana has helped her sleep and reduce her pain contrary to her initial medication which would make her feel like a “zombie”.
The marijuana industry is growing in Illinois, which is one of the only 29 states in the country that has allowed the use of medical marijuana. The state reported a revenue of $8 million in August. About 25,000 people in the state have one of the 40 symptoms that allow them to get a medical marijuana prescription. The most common symptoms include fibromyalgia, cancer, seizures and pain.