Why are patients choosing medical cannabis over prescription drugs?


The legalization of medical cannabis use in Canada and many states across the US has led to a significant shift in the mindsets of patients. While prescription drugs are still the preferred choice of medication for many, there has been a steady increase in the number of people using medical marijuana for treating ailments. 

According to a recent report published by Strainprint, nearly 48% of medical marijuana users have ditched prescription drugs for cannabis. Almost 34% of cannabis users have reduced the prescription drug dosage and incorporated medical cannabis as their go-to medication.  

These numbers clearly suggest that people are opening up to the idea of using medical cannabis as the primary form of treatment. 

Why Medical Cannabis

There are four main reasons why medical marijuana is growing in popularity among the patients in North America:

  • Based on user experiences, the use of medical cannabis provides great relief from back pain, arthritis, gastrointestinal pain, and more. Not just that, medical cannabis has had a positive impact on patients suffering from depression and anxiety. Even people, who have been on opioids for a long time, are choosing medical cannabis as they feel it helps to manage the symptoms better.
  • Unlike prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, there are no known side effects of using medical cannabis for treating ailments. While the healthcare industry is grappling with the huge issue of a prescription drug overdose (that can be fatal sometimes), there are no recorded ill effects of a medical marijuana overdose. 
  • The newly legalized tag attached to cannabis is driving people to experiment with medical cannabis. Patients are curious to try out medical cannabis as they wish to examine the effect it has on their ailments.   
  • Last, but not least, medical cannabis is not as expensive as some prescription drugs. In 2016, the US spent over $329 billion on prescription drugs. Switching to medical cannabis can certainly save a lot of money spent on healthcare. 

The attitude of the healthcare industry towards cannabis

The healthcare industry has always been apprehensive of using medical cannabis. After the initial hesitation to explore cannabis-based therapy, healthcare providers are finally opening up to try out medical cannabis for treating patients. According to the Strainprint report, 63% of healthcare providers are in favor of including cannabis-based therapy in treatments for various ailments. 

Dangers of polypharmacy drug use

The overall results of using medical cannabis have been positive. While more and more patients are experimenting with medical marijuana, there has been a rise in the dangerous trend of mixing cannabis with prescription drugs. While medical cannabis has no side effects, it could lead to unwanted complications if mixed with prescription drugs without consulting your healthcare provider. The polypharmacy drug use is advisable only if your doctor or therapist vouches for it. Consult your doctor before combining medical cannabis with prescription medicines.  

Many cannabis experts feel that medical marijuana is the future of medical treatment. It is only a matter of time before the healthcare leaders shed their inhibition against cannabis and prescribe it as the primary form of medications.