A study by the American Medical Association has shown lower use of opioid drugs by cancer patients in states with medical cannabis programs. The study by Yuhua Bao, Hao Zhang and Eduardo Bruera sampled 38,189 patients with recently diagnosed breast cancer; 12,816 with colorectal cancer, and 7,190 with lung cancer. According to the findings published on Thursday, medical marijuana legalization carried out between 2012 and 2017 was associated with a 5.5% to 19.2% relative reduction in the rate of opioid dispensing. “Medical marijuana could be serving as a substitute for opioid therapies among some adult patients receiving cancer treatment,” the study said. “Future studies need to elucidate the nature of the associations and implications for patient outcomes.” On Friday, President Joe Biden signed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act into law.
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