Health

Roxanne Gullikson poses for a portrait at Greener Pastures Recovery House. Gullikson is the facility director at the home, which hopes to open with 12 patients at the end of February. The home will use cannabis and kratom to help people beat their opioid addictions. (Photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Health

More Than Half of Americans Believe Cannabis Could Help End the Opioid Crisis

Fifty-three percent of Americans said legalization will decrease the number of opioid overdoses.

Aug 6, 2018 - Zack Fenech

Roxanne Gullikson poses for a portrait at Greener Pastures Recovery House. Gullikson is the facility director at the home, which hopes to open with 12 patients at the end of February. The home will use cannabis and kratom to help people beat their opioid addictions. (Photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Roxanne Gullikson poses for a portrait at Greener Pastures Recovery House. Gullikson is the facility director at the home, which hopes to open with 12 patients at the end of February. The home will use cannabis and kratom to help people beat their opioid addictions. (Photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Roxanne Gullikson poses for a portrait at Greener Pastures Recovery House. Gullikson is the facility director at the home, which hopes to open with 12 patients at the end of February. The home will use cannabis and kratom to help people beat their opioid addictions. (Photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

A recent poll found that a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana and believe it could play a significant role in fighting the opioid crisis. 

Out of the surveyed participants, 85% supported the legalization of medicinal cannabis, while 60% of those in favor of medicinal cannabis felt that recreational cannabis should be legalized too. 

The joint survey, conducted by Health Day and Harris Poll Online in mid-July, found that 53 percent of people believe legal cannabis would reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths, which STAT News predicts will claim the lives of half a million American citizens within the next decade. 

Fred Muench, the CEO and president of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, responded to the survey by expressing concern that people are quick to confuse legalization with decriminalization. He also said that there isn’t much evidence supporting medicinal cannabis as a means of fighting the opioid crisis, stating that the conversation concerning the two subjects creates a dichotomy of cannabis vs. opioids, which distracts people from the real issues regarding each substance.

More Than Half of Americans Believe Cannabis Could Help End the Opioid Crisis1 Hops Discovered in India Could Help Bring Truly Legal CBD to Market
Photo by Caglar Celik / EyeEm

There are a number of promising studies indicating that cannabis could help solve the opioid crisis, but the majority of them are not designed with the rigor of large, double-blind clinical trials, typically regarded as the gold standard in the medical community. 

Of the 2000 people polled, the most common reason for opposition to legalization was concern that it would make cannabis too accessible for minors and pets. Two-thirds of those in favor of legalizing medicinal cannabis felt the benefits were worth the liability.

Interestingly, a majority—four out of five—also said they think cannabis should be regulated like other medicines by the FDA. For now, this is not realistic for the cannabis industry as FDA-approved clinical trials require years and millions of dollars. The FDA only just approved the first cannabis-based medicine for prescription, Epidiolex, in June.


Share This

Related Articles

Federal laws have to change so Epidiolex can get to market. Will it impact other CBD products?

UNITED STATES - JUNE 04: Director of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg, then a US Attorney General of the Eastern District of Virginia, speaking at a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., June 4, 2007. Experts remain uncertain about whether the DEA will reclassify Epidiolex or CBD itself following FDA approval of Epidiolex for epilepsy on Monday, June 25. (Photo by Chris Kleponis/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Utah’s opioid crisis may be part of the reason that marijuana—which shows promise as an opioid addiction treatment—is now gaining traction in the state.

Brad Daw Utah marijuana

Epidiolex, made by the United Kingdom-based GW Pharmaceuticals, might become the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of epilepsy. Although cannabis has been used anecdotally for years to treat seizures, CBD and THC may finally get the regulatory stamp of approval.

This might be the first cannabis-based drug to get approved

Comments

Stay in the loop

Exclusive deals, original content.
Delivered to you.