Patients prefer prescribed cannabis to opioids

Given the choice, patients with chronic pain would reach for cannabis over prescribed opioids.

At least that’s according to the Canadian experience with medicinal cannabis.

In 2001, Canada became one of the first nations to develop a program to allow access to cannabis for medical purposes.

There are now more than 30 federally authorised licensed producers providing product to more than 65,000 patients.

New research that tracked more than 250 Canadian patients using prescribed cannabis to treat chronic pain, mental health and gastrointestinal issues has found that most (63%) favour cannabis over opioids, benzodiazepines or antidepressants.

The authors suggest this is because of its “reduced side-effects, better symptom management and a feeling that cannabis is safer than prescription drugs”.

The study, published in International Journal of Drug Policy, also