Dozens of states now allow their residents to use medical cannabis to alleviate more than 20 qualifying medical conditions. Although the research on cannabis is still relatively new, there is strong proof that cannabis-based treatments can alleviate the symptoms of a wide variety of medical conditions.
As a result, millions of Americans across the country now use medical cannabis to treat conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety disorders and others. One of the most common uses of medical cannabis is to treat chronic pain, a condition that is estimated to affect an estimated 50.2 million adults in America.
With more and more people turning to cannabis to alleviate their medical conditions, researchers have noted that they are using fewer pharmaceutical opioids. In a new study from the University of Southern California, Purdue University and the University of Florida, researchers said that there has been a significant reduction in direct payments from opioid producers to physicians.
The researchers found that clinicians in states with medical marijuana programs are prescribing fewer opioids to their patients. They used a new “penalized synthetic control model” to review transaction data on direct payments to physicians from opioid manufacturers between 2014 to 2017. Their aim was to determine if there was a causal relationship between the launch of medical marijuana markets and reductions in payments for opioids.
They found evidence indicating that the presence of medical marijuana as an alternative treatment contributed to the reduced payments to opioid manufacturers. Female clinicians and areas with less affluent and higher concentrations of white, working-age populations saw a higher substitution effect. Opioids have been integral in the treatment of pain for decades, and tens of millions of people across the world have used them to manage pain disorders.
Direct payments to physicians help manufacturers to spread their reach and access more customers for their products. However, opioids aren’t always effective, and they have a significant risk of causing side effects such as nausea, constipation and respiratory depression. They can also lead to physical dependence and contribute to the development of opioid use disorder, which affects more than 15 million people globally and causes more than 120,000 deaths across the world annually.
As a result, plenty of chronic pain patients have adopted cannabis as an alternative treatment in place of conventional pharmaceuticals. This study adds to a growing body of literature indicating that more patients are choosing medical cannabis over opioids to manage chronic pain.
Given that chronic pain is a major affliction in the United States and around the world, enterprises such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are focused on coming up with cannabis-based therapeutic formulations, which can be approved by the FDA for use against this clinical indication that often compromises the quality of life of the people diagnosed with it.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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