States with medical marijuana laws have a quarter less painkiller overdose deaths, and less painkiller prescriptions as well.
Now, leading research institution UC Berkeley, and a cannabis technology company HelloMD, hope to learn more about why.
UC Berkeley and HelloMD announced this week a study of how cannabis affects opioid use. The team will survey HelloMDs patient database of around 100,000 regarding cannabis and how it affects patients use of opioids.
Opioids are a deadly class of painkillers that have ended the lives of 165,000 Americans from 1999 to 2014, the CDC reports. Nearly 20,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2014 alone – or roughly 19 people per day. Recently, entertainer Prince died of an overdose of the opioid Fentanyl, officials reported. The makers of Fentanyl donated $500,000 to keep marijuana illegal in Arizona, state elections data shows.
The Cal/HelloMD study promises to build on research showing that cannabis allows pain patients to use less opioids or stop using them altogether. Cannabis active ingredients, including THC, can modulate nerve signaling to decrease perception of pain, and cannabis has no lethal overdose when ingested or smoked.
The study will be led by Amanda Reiman, PhD, MSW, Lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley and Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance.
Other authors include Perry Solomon, MD, Chief Medical Officer for HelloMD, as well as Mark A. Welty, Ph.D., NCC, LPCC-S, LSW, Kent State University, Adjunct Faculty, and Chris Janson, PhD, Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Leadership, School Counseling, & Sport Management, University of North Florida.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: UC Berkeley And Marijuana Tech Company See If Pot Fights Painkiller Abuse
Author: David Downs
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