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Study: Canadians are replacing prescription drugs with cannabis

A new landmark study by researchers Philippe Lucas and Zach Walsh (in conjunction with Tilray), found that an impressive number of Canadians are replacing their drug prescriptions with medical cannabis. Their research shows that 63 per cent of respondents reported to be using medical cannabis in place of prescription medications.

To be more specific, here’s a bit of a breakdown:

  • 30 per cent of respondents are replacing opioids with medical cannabis. Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin, as well as pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), morphine, etc. There has been a serious opioid epidemic in Canada as of late, with these drugs causing the deaths of hundreds of people, last year alone.
  • 16 per cent of respondents are replacing benzodiazepines with medical cannabis. Benzodiazepines are a class of agents that work on the central nervous system, they are used for conditions like anxiety, panic disorder, seizures, or sleep disorders.
  • 12 per cent of respondents are replacing antidepressants with medical cannabis.

The most highly cited reason for switching to medical cannabis, as per the respondents, was “less adverse side effects” (39 per cent), and 27 per cent said medical cannabis was safer. In addition, 16 per cent of respondents noted that medical cannabis was even more effective in treating their symptoms than their prescription medications.

 

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