VIDEO: New Study Shows Pot Curbs Opioid Addiction
Welcome to my latest Weed Report video presentation. The article below is a condensed transcript. For charts and further details, watch my video.
We’re witnessing a Golden Age of scientific research into the medical efficacy of marijuana. New reports attesting to the health benefits of pot are continually coming to light.
In fact, an increasing body of evidence suggests that marijuana can actually help curb opioid addiction. That’s right…what used to be called the Devil’s Weed can curb addiction. I’ll get to that point, in a minute.
Patients with chronic ailments and diseases that are unresponsive to conventional therapies are increasingly looking to marijuana as an alternative. That’s especially true in relation to invasive and addictive therapies.
A quick lesson in terms:
Opiates are chemical compounds that are extracted or refined from natural plant matter (poppy sap and fibers). Examples: opium, morphine, codeine, heroin.
Opioids are chemical compounds that generally are not derived from natural plant matter. Most opioids are made in the lab. Brand name examples: Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet.
This presentation focuses on the latest research related to marijuana and opioids, although previous studies have shown that marijuana can alleviate opiate addiction, too (as well as alcohol or nicotine addiction).
Research underscores the value of cannabis as an analgesic and anti-nausea remedy. With the epidemic of deadly opioid addiction over the past two decades, medical cannabis has shown promise as an alternative, non-addictive (and non-deadly) technique for pain management.
The pot prohibitionists would have you believe otherwise. The Democratic party is marijuana friendly; a majority of Republican leaders at the federal and state levels are not. However, GOP lawmakers’ continuing opposition to marijuana legalization is sharply at odds with the viewpoints of most Americans.
Republicans are still more likely than Democrats or independents to oppose marijuana legalization. But over the past four years, net support for legalizing marijuana also rose twice as much among Republicans as it did among Democrats and independents.
Regardless of the cultural biases of certain members of the political class, the marijuana business is a multi-billion-dollar juggernaut that’s unstoppable.
Investors in marijuana’s huge potential shouldn’t be dissuaded by inflammatory rhetoric. Anti-pot crusaders have consistently proven unsuccessful in putting the genie back into the bottle.
Marijuana’s natural healing power…
A new study links state-level medical marijuana legalization to reduced opioid payouts to physicians, yet another in a long series of empirical studies indicating that patients switch from prescription drugs to medical cannabis when given legal access.
The study, released in late March 2023 by medical researchers at the University of Florida, University of Southern California and Purdue University, found “a significant decrease in direct payments from opioid manufacturers to pain medicine physicians as an effect of MML [medical marijuana law] passage” and asserted that “physicians in states with MML are prescribing fewer opioids.”
Researchers analyzed transaction data involving direct payments from opioid manufacturers to physicians from 2014 to 2017, seeking to determine if medical cannabis legalization had a causal impact.
The study showed evidence that the decreased opioid manufacturer payments was “due to the availability of medical marijuana as a substitute.”
Additionally, “the substitution effect is comparatively higher for female physicians and in localities with higher white, less affluent, and more working-age populations,” the researchers said.
Opioid manufacturers and physicians that prescribe opioids represent a huge industry. The global market for opioid drugs should reach $29.8 billion by 2023 from $26.4 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5% for the period of 2018-2023, according to BCC Research.
Manufacturers and physicians often forge ethically dubious professional partnerships that are financial, resulting in “pill factories” that lead to overdoses and deaths.
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, over 96,000 Americans die from drug overdoses every year. Opioids are a factor in 72% of overdose deaths. Drug overdoses have killed almost one million Americans since 1999.
Small wonder, then, that Big Pharma players such as Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Novartis (NYSE: NVS), and Merck (NYSE: MRK) are making forays into medical marijuana.
As I’ve just explained, weed’s stigma is fast disappearing. That’s why I’ve launched an investment service called Marijuana Profit Alert.
Marijuana stocks were dragged down by the broader bear market in 2022, but I believe the pot sector faces a “breakout” year in 2023.
My publication Marijuana Profit Alert provides specific, actionable advice on the best investments in the psychotropic revolution. Visit this URL to learn more.
John Persinos is the editorial director of Investing Daily.
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This article originally appeared on Investing Daily.