That’s right folks, the science has been clear for a long time.  And now there’s even more evidence that low-toxic medical cannabis saves lives for folks in chronic pain.  This time it’s the heavy hitting Journal of the American Medical Association stating “states allowing the medical use of cannabis have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws”.   It’s important for people to remember that medical cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever, and patients don’t need to smoke it or get a head high to experience low-toxic pain relief.

Opioid prescription deathsThe substitution of less harmful medicines in lieu of more harmful drugs is compassionate and intelligent medicine. Cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever by almost any measure. It has never caused a single death, ever. Cannabis does not have to be smoked to be effective, and medical cannabis patients don’t have to get ‘high’ to experience pain relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen kill more Americans than most people are aware.

As citizens become more attuned to the benefits of cannabis as an inexpensive natural pain reliever that doesn’t have death as a side-effect, many forward thinking doctors are recognizing the amazing benefits of low-toxic cannabis for all types of pain and inflammation, including mild and moderate pain.

The following comes from the IACM:

On average, states allowing the medical use of cannabis have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws. A new multi-institutional study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine examined the rate of deaths caused by opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2010. Results reveal that on average, the 13 states allowing the use of medical cannabis had a 24.8 percent lower annual opioid overdose mortality rate after the laws were enacted than states without the laws, indicating that the treatment with cannabis may be safer for patients suffering from chronic pain related to cancer and other conditions.

Approximately 60 percent of all deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses occur in patients who have legitimate prescriptions. While noting that evidence for the pain-relieving properties of cannabis is limited, some studies have suggested “it may provide relief for some individuals,” said lead author Dr Marcus A. Bachhuber. “In addition, people already taking opioids for pain may supplement with medical marijuana and be able to lower their painkiller dose, thus lowering their risk of overdose.” Additional results of the study show that the relationship between lower opioid overdose deaths and medical cannabis laws strengthened over time; deaths were nearly 20 percent lower in the first year after a state’s law was implemented, and 33.7 percent lower five years after implementation.

A proper cannabis recommendation for pain requires more than just a few minutes of a doctor’s time, and includes information on cannabinoid content, strain selection, and delivery methods. If you’re not getting this information from your doctor, you’re not getting a true cannabis consultation and are missing information on the full value and healing potential of the plant.

If you know of someone who is looking for low toxic options for their chronic pain, feel free to forward this article to them.  Prospective patients can also call me at 206-795-6044 to see if they might be a good candidate for medical cannabis.  There is no charge for this service. If you or anyone you know would like more information about me and my naturopathic services you can visit my website here:

All my best in health,

-Dr. Jake Felice, ND, LMP

Seattle, Washington