Study: Chronic pain, mental health patients prefer medical marijuana to prescription drugs

Mental health patients and individuals suffering from chronic pain prefer cannabis over prescription drugs, including opioids, according to a new study published in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

For the study, researchers surveyed 271 patients with medical marijuana prescriptions. Respondents were using marijuana for conditions such as chronic pain, mental health issues and gastrointestinal issues. Among these patients, 63 percent said they preferred using cannabis over their prescription drugs, which included opioids, benzodiazepines (sedatives) and antidepressants.

"Further research into how well cannabis works compared to the accepted front-line treatments is warranted," said Zach Walsh, co-author of the study and an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of British Columbia. "Additionally, long-term research into the potential impact of the cannabis substitution on the quality of patient's lives is ongoing."

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