Pass the pot: UBC Okanagan study shows patients choose cannabis over prescription pain killers - InfoNews

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Pass the pot: UBC Okanagan study shows patients choose cannabis over prescription pain killers

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February 27, 2017 - 11:45 AM

KELOWNA - An UBC Okanagan study says patients prefer medical marijuana over prescription opioids for chronic pain treatment and mental health problem.

The study focused on more than 250 patients who were prescribed medical cannabis for chronic pain, mental health and gastrointestinal issues, according to a UBC Okanagan media release.

“This study is one of the first to track medical cannabis use under the new system of licensed producers, meaning that all participants had physician authorization to access cannabis in addition to their prescription medicines,” UBC Okanagan's Zach Walsh, co-author of the study, says in the release.

Sixty-three per cent of the more than 250 participants reported using medical cannabis rather than prescription drugs like opioids, benzodiazepines and anti-depressants.

"The main reasons for the switch to cannabis from prescribed meds is due to reduced side effects, better symptom management and a feeling that cannabis is safer than prescription drugs," study lead Philippe Lucas says in the release.

Canada was one of the first nations to introduce a medical cannabis program and more than 65,000 Canadians are treated with medicinal cannabis today, the release states.

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