Prescription drugs have got to be among the most influential human inventions of all time. Thanks to these medications, people have been able to recuperate from illnesses and injuries that would have otherwise taken their lives.
However, prescription medications aren’t without risk. Some of these medications have such serious side effects that they actually reduce the quality of life of patients while they are going through treatment. As such, there has been a push for alternative medicines for the past couple of years.
Cannabis has emerged as a possible alternative to pharmaceuticals. In fact, a recent analysis by researchers from Cornell University reveals that the demand for pricey prescription medications via state Medicaid programs tends to reduce with the passage of recreational cannabis laws.
Researchers found that as states have launched recreational cannabis markets, there has been a significant decline in the purchase of prescription meds meant to alleviate pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, seizures and psychosis.
Titled “Recreational Cannabis Legalizations Associated with Reductions in Prescription Drug Utilizations Among Medicaid Enrollees,” the article reporting these findings was published in “Health Economics.” Shyam Raman, a Cornell Jeb. E Brooks School of Public Policy doctoral student, and Ashley Bradford, a doctoral student at Indiana University, conducted the research and penned the article.
According to Raman, the results of their study have major implications because they could save state Medicaid programs a significant amount of money. Additionally, they also provide an avenue for limiting reliance on pharmaceuticals and reducing the side effects synonymous with these medications, he says.
The two researchers obtained their findings by analyzing data collected from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in all states from 2011 to 2019. During this period, several states passed marijuana reforms and launched recreational cannabis markets, significantly increasing the public’s access to the substance.
Additionally, 40 states currently allow qualifying patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. Raman and Bradford specifically found a significant reduction in the demand for sleep and anxiety disorder drugs compared to nausea medications in these states.
Despite the uptick in Americans who are turning to cannabis as alternative medicine, Raman and Bradford note that the controversial plant is not completely harmless. This sentiment is in line with what many experts have said regarding marijuana’s exponentially growing popularity: the hype seems to have outpaced science by a wide margin.
Studies have found that excessive cannabis use has the potential to trigger anxiety and mental conditions such as schizophrenia. Furthermore, they say, patients who decide to use marijuana to treat their conditions without a doctor’s approval could create discontinuity in their primary care, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised when you see a variety of cannabis industry players, including American Cannabis Partners, recommending that people talk to their doctors before consuming marijuana products, especially those intended for therapeutic purposes.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP
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