Medical Research News

Cannabis Study Finds Medical Use to Lower Need for Opioids

cannabis study
Written by Cara Wietstock

HelloMD and UC Berkeley recently released the results to their landmark medical cannabis study. The study examined the use of cannabis to substitute opioid and non-opioid based pain medication. As opioid-related deaths in the United States continue to rise cannabis advocates believe that medical use could help stop the epidemic.

To gather results for this study on the matter, HelloMD surveyed their huge database of medical cannabis patients regarding their use of cannabis and how it has affected their opioid usage. The survey included 3000 medical cannabis patients and came to some interesting conclusions.

cannabis study

The study was run by  Amanda Reiman, PhD, MSW, Lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley and Perry Soloman, MD, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD as well as Mark A. Welty, Ph.D., NCC, LPCC-S, LSW, Kent State University, Adjunct Faculty, Welty Counseling and Consulting, CEO, The Village Network, Director of Research and Innovation, The Ohio Patient Network, Board of Directors.


When asked about the study Reiman poignantly stated, “The treatment of pain has become a politicized business in the United States. The result has been the rapidly rising rate of opioid-related overdoses and dependence.”


The study cited some key findings:

  • 97% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they could decrease their opioid use when using cannabis

  • 92% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they prefer cannabis to treat their medical condition

  • 81% “strongly agreed/ agreed” that cannabis by itself was more effective than taking cannabis with opioids. The results were similar when using cannabis with non-opioid based pain medications.

Reiman continued, “Cannabis has been used throughout the world for thousands of years to treat pain and other physical and mental health conditions. Patients have been telling us for decades that this practice is producing better outcomes than the use of opioid-based medications.”

While many still believe the ‘reefer madness’ gossip about the plant, many are beginning to understand its healing properties. This cannabis study and the others that are slowly emerging from legal states helps de-stigmatize the cannabis plant. Without the stigma, more patients will have access to quality cannabis.

As Reiman put it, “It’s past time for the medical profession to get over their reefer madness and start working with the medical cannabis movement and industry to slow down the destruction being caused by the over prescribing and overuse of opioids.”

About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

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