We’ve learned about a couple of good medical benefits to marijuana this year and now it seems there’s another one: Using medicinal marijuana makes it less likely that you’ll become hooked on painkillers.
A new study published this in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal finds that states that have legalized medicinal marijuana have significantly fewer deaths from painkiller overdoses.
In all, the study found that states that had legalized medical pot experienced around 1,700 fewer painkiller overdose deaths in 2010 than what would have happened if those states didn’t make medical marijuana legal and available.
“We found there was about a 25% lower rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths on average after implementation of a medical marijuana law,” lead study author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber explained.
Bachhuber, who also works as a PCP at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said that his experience with treating chronic pain has shown that doctors need to have as many options at their disposal as possible, although he also allowed that “it’s important, of course, to weigh the risks and benefits of medical marijuana.”