Medical marijuana has a wealth of benefits for people with pain. Although doctors prescribe opioid medication for extreme discomfort, a recent study showed that patients actually preferred cannabis. Does this mean pot works better?

Weed-ing out Some Facts

Cannabis (in plant form) and cannabis oil offer health merits such as helping with glaucoma, pain management, and improving appetite.
Cannabidiol Extract (CBD) is a chemical compound in marijuana, but without the THC. THC is psychoactive; CBD oil doesn’t get you high. Cannabidiol essential oil has an incredibly long list of health advantages without undesirable side effects.
Pain relief and decreased inflammation are the primary positive yields from CBD oil use. Approximately 17 states across the U.S. have approved this essential oil as a valid, medicinal treatment. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a 2013 study that showed CBD oil’s benefits are linked to:

  • Reduced nausea and vomiting
  • Reduced risk of seizures
  • Battling psychotic disorders
  • Reduced inflammation and battling against inflammatory diseases
  • Lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia onset
  • Reduced growth of cancer cells
  • Reduced anxiety and depression

Recent Research

The University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria recently conducted a study. The Canadian research found that patients prefer using cannabis over opioid pills to treat chronic pain and mental health issues.
Over 250 patients were surveyed regarding their use of cannabis for pain. Over 60 percent reported that they used cannabis instead of other prescribed medicines, which included opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. One of the main reasons they preferred using cannabis was because they felt they had better symptom management.
They also reported that cannabis had fewer side effects than the prescription pills. Overall, the response from the participants using cannabis (instead of opioids) was that “they felt safer.”

Cannabis IS Safer

The sale of opioid-based pain prescriptions quadrupled from 1999 to 2014. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the leading cause of unintentional death amongst Americans is prescription pill and heroin overdose.
It’s also true that doctors have been careful not to overprescribe in the past couple of years. Originally, the pharmaceutical company claimed that opioid-based medicines were not addictive. Since the drug company lost a major lawsuit, and we see the epidemic-numbers of abuse and addiction, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency finally decided to step in. Thankfully, the market is shrinking, and this year, manufacturing of opioids will be reduced by 25%.
According to the U.S. DEA drug sheet, “no deaths from marijuana overdose have ever been recorded.”
Certainly, a person’s ability to make safe choices while on cannabis can be impaired. There have been deaths related to the behavioral effects from marijuana use. But as far as dying directly from an overdose of pot, it would be almost impossible. A 2006 report in American Scientist claimed that in order to cause a fatality, a person would need to smoke or eat 1,000 times the usual dose of cannabis.
This material does not condone nor deter any person from using cannabis or taking prescription opioids. It is a personal decision (made with your health care provider) what course of treatment is best when you are in dire pain. And of course, there are other paths of treatment as well. To read more about this and other topical health care articles, check out