Minnesota Study Adds to Growing Evidence Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid Use
Could at least a partial solution to the opioid crisis be sitting on the shelves at the local medical marijuana dispensary? A new report out of Minnesota, and one earlier this year from Israel, both found that marijuana is beneficial to people with chronic pain conditions and those suffering from cancer.
Marijuana In Minnesota
In August 2016, the state added “intractable pain” to the list of conditions approved for treatment with medical marijuana. The state defines intractable pain as “pain whose cause cannot be removed and, according to generally accepted medical practice, the full range of pain management modalities appropriate for this patient has been used without adequate result or with intolerable side effects.”
“Intractable pain” is often treated with opioids. To determine the effectiveness of the program, the state commissioned a $51,000 study of patients in the first five months that intractable pain qualified as a condition treatable with medical marijuana. The study focused on 2,245 patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program for intractable pain between August and December of 2016. About 64 percent of the patients were between the ages of 36 and 64, while 52 percent were female. The vast majority lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.