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Marijuana Legalisation Linked To Decreased Demand For Prescription Drugs, New Study Reveals

Jayden Collins

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Marijuana Legalisation Linked To Decreased Demand For Prescription Drugs, New Study Reveals

Featured Image Credit: Paulino Riquelme / Alamy. PjrStudio / Alamy.

Legalising marijuana for adult use has been linked to a decreased need for prescription drugs, according to a new research paper.

The study found that states in the US that had legalised marijuana saw a significant reduction in demand for drugs to treat conditions such as anxiety, sleep, pain, and seizures. 

There have been plenty of studies that have focused on the impact of medical marijuana, however, this is the first to focus on the impact of legal personal-use cannabis in relation to prescription drugs. 

Shyam Raman, from Cornell, and Ashley Bradford, from Indiana University have published their findings in an article titled ‘Recreational Cannabis Legalizations Associated with Reductions in Prescription Drug Utilizations Among Medicaid Enrollees’. 

Self service CBD machine.  Credit: Cum Okolo / Alamy.
Self service CBD machine. Credit: Cum Okolo / Alamy.

The researchers used data from Medicaid reporting and determined whether there was a correlation between legal access to marijuana and the use of pharmaceuticals for six different conditions. 

Medicaid is the federal and state program within the United States that helps with healthcare costs for people with limited income.

The study concluded there are ‘significant reductions in the volume of prescriptions within the drug classes that align with the medical indications for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep, psychosis, and seizures’ in states that legalised cannabis. 

Shyam Raman said: “These results have important implications.

“The reductions in drug utilisation that we find could lead to significant cost savings for state Medicaid programs. 

“The results also indicate an opportunity to reduce the harm that can come with the dangerous side effects associated with some prescription drugs."

Seems like a win-win for both policymakers and common people. 

On average, across 50 states, the results found that prescription drug utilisation for depression decreased by 11 per cent, anxiety by 12 per cent, sleep by 11 per cent, seizures by 10 per cent, and pain by 8 per cent. 

However, the study did note there weren’t notable changes in nausea, spasticity, or glaucoma. 

The findings come after a botanical drug utilising extracts of a cannabis plant managed to eliminate 100 per cent of pancreatic cancer cells.

The drug, developed by biomedical company Cannobotech, is based on an extract of the Cyathus stratus fungus in conjunction with the cannabinoid extract and killed all cancer cells without damaging any healthy cells. 

Is there anything this magical plant can’t do?

Topics: Drugs, Science

Jayden Collins
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