In the US, we’ve seen a marked drop in opioid overdoses in legal states, prodding the question of whether patients are replacing their prescription medicines with cannabis. Recent survey data collected from patients enrolled in Canada’s MMPR program indicates this may be more than just a correlation.

Led by researchers Philippe Lucas and Zach Walsh, this investigation surveyed 271 patients purchasing medical cannabis from Canadian LP Tilray (which, like Leafly, is owned by Privateer Holdings). Seeking to understand who is using medical marijuana and why, they discovered some staggering statistics pertaining to substitution‚Äď63% of respondents reported using cannabis in place of prescription medications.

Breaking down the results by drug classes, Lucas and Walsh found that:

  • 30% of respondents replaced opioids
  • 16% replaced benzodiazepines
  • 12% replaced antidepressants

The substitution effect reaches beyond just the medicine cabinet; cannabis also helped patients curb other types of substance use:

  • 25% of respondents replaced alcohol
  • 12% of respondents replaced tobacco
  • 3% of respondents replaced illicit drugs

with cannabis.

Leafly
By Bailey Rahn
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