UC Berkeley & HelloMD Study on Cannabis Use as a Substitute for Opioid and Non-Opioid Pain Relievers

HelloMD, one of the nation’s largest community of medical cannabis patients, today announced the results of their landmark study examining the use of cannabis as a substitute for opioid and non-opioid based pain medication. Performed in collaboration with University of California Berkeley, HelloMD surveyed its patient database, collecting survey data from close to 3,000 participants, questioning their usage of cannabis and how it has affected their consumption of opioids.

Use of cannabis as a substitute/in conjunction with opioid-based pain medication

Use of cannabis as a substitute/in conjunction with opioid-based pain medication


Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. According to the CDC, most drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid with 91 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids and heroin.

Key findings:

  • 97% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they could decrease their opioid use when using cannabis
  • 92% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they prefer cannabis to treat their medical condition
  • 81% “strongly agreed/ agreed that cannabis by itself was more effective than taking cannabis with opioids. The results were similar when using cannabis with non-opioid based pain medications.

The latest publication from the National Academy of Sciences clearly refuted the ‘gateway drug’ theory that using marijuana can lead to opioid addiction, instead finding evidence of cannabis having multiple curative benefits,” said Dr. Perry Solomon, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. “Our study further substantiates this. Hopefully this will awaken the public, medical professionals and legislatures to the fact that cannabis is a safe, non-addictive product, available to help fight the opioid epidemic.”

The study was led by Amanda Reiman, PhDMSW, Lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, Perry Solomon, MD, Chief Medical Officer for HelloMD, and Mark A. Welty, Ph.D., NCC, LPCC-S, LSW, Kent State University, Adjunct Faculty, Welty Counseling and Consulting, CEO, The Village Network, Director of Research and Innovation, The Ohio Patient Network, Board of Directors.

Amanda Reiman states:

The treatment of pain has become a politicized business in the United States. The result has been the rapidly rising rate of opioid related overdoses and dependence. Cannabis has been used throughout the world for thousands of years to treat pain and other physical and mental health conditions. Patients have been telling us for decades that this practice is producing better outcomes than the use of opioid based medications. It’s past time for the medical profession to get over their reefer madness and start working with the medical cannabis movement and industry to slow down the destruction being caused by the over prescribing and overuse of opioids.”

Original article here.

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