Medical cannabis put a huge dent in the opiate market, teens are ditching alcohol in favor of cannabis, and Colorado announced a new batch of labeling regulations.
Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.
Cannabis Helps Cancer Patients Ditch Opiates, Study Finds
The opiate epidemic remains one of the most pressing issues faced by the U.S. today. In fact, over 564,000 Americans died from overdoses related to prescription and illicit opiates between 1999 and 2020. Fortunately, there is hope, as a new study from the American Medical Association has found that medical cannabis legalization has put a major dent in this crisis.
This new study looked at insurance claim data from 2012-2017 for 38,189 individuals who had been diagnosed with cancer. The patients came from 34 states that had not legalized medical cannabis by Jan. 1, 2012. The study tracked the patients’ opiate use, seeing how it changed as some of the 34 states legalized medical cannabis over the five-year span.
The study found that medical cannabis legalization led to a 5.5% to 19.2% reduction in opiate use. Furthermore, states that legalized dispensaries along with medical cannabis saw a larger reduction than states that only legalized medical use.
Despite the study’s promising findings, the research team reiterated that more research is needed. That being said, the study’s findings are not far off from the findings of similar research that found that cannabis can, at the least, serve as a suitable substitute for opiates.
What do you think of this study’s findings? Do you think medical cannabis is the key to ending the U.S.’s dependence on opiates? Let us know in the comments!
Cannabis Use Up, Alcohol Use Down Among Teens
Despite cannabis’ ever-increasing popularity, alcohol, ultimately, remains king. According to a new study, however, alcohol’s reign may not last much longer if current consumption trends among teens continue.
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This new study comes courtesy of the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Toxicology. The study looked at the instances of intentional exposure to cannabis and alcohol in 338,272 children aged 6-18 from 2000-2020.
The study found that cannabis use rose 245% since the 2000s. Over the same period, alcohol abuse among this same group decreased significantly. These two trends converged in the year 2013, with cannabis exposure/abuse cases outpacing alcohol cases every year since.
The researchers behind this study alleged that these figures are a cause for concern, showing that cannabis legalization puts cannabis in the hands of children and teens. However, this theory has already been debunked by a study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine (AJPM) in November. The AJPM study found that cannabis legalization is not significantly related to an increased probability of cannabis use among teens.
What do you think of this ongoing trend? Is it a cause for concern or a “net-positive”? Let us know in the comments!
Colorado Introduces New Batch of Cannabis Regulations
Colorado cannabis businesses have a new batch of regulations to comply with. These new regulations come after extensive negotiations between officials from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) and industry stakeholders.
The first of these new regulations stipulates that all cannabis products need to include a “use by” label. MED advises cannabis businesses to do shelf-testing themselves to ensure maximum accuracy. Additionally, businesses also need to include information telling customers how to best store their cannabis products. These two labeling regulations go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Finally, MED’s new pack of regulations also includes a rule allowing surplus medical cannabis to be recirculated in the adult-use market. This regulation goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
What do you think of Colorado’s new batch of cannabis regulations? Let us know in the comments!