Patients authorized to legally use medical cannabis frequently substitute it in place of benzodiazepines, according to a pair of new studies published this week. According to data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control, the use of benzodiazepines were attributed to over 11,500 overdose deaths in 2017.
Pain patients report successfully substituting cannabis for opioids and other analgesics, according to data published online today in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Among those who acknowledged having used opioid-based pain medication within the past six months, 97 percent agreed that they were able to decrease their opiate intake with cannabis.
Just under half of respondents (46 percent) reported using cannabis in place of prescription medications. Respondents were most likely to use cannabis in lieu of narcotics/opioids (36 percent), anxiolytics/benzodiazepenes (14 percent), and antidepressants (13 percent).
Those who report consuming cannabis two or three times per week are less likely to engage in at risk drinking behavior, according to data published online in The American Journal of Addictions. Researchers reported, “Among cannabis users, frequent cannabis use is associated with … a lower prevalence of hazardous alcohol use when compared to occasional cannabis use.”