Comparing Opioids to Medical Marijuana

Opioids are a well-known treatment plan for those who deal with chronic pain, but they also come with a cost. Prescription pain relievers are a highly addictive pharmaceutical, causing 49,068 Americans to die of an overdose just in 2017. Because of these rising numbers, patients are starting to switch to medical marijuana as legalization makes its way through the states. When comparing opioids to medical marijuana, cannabis is known as a safer option for relieving pain without the addictive cravings.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a broad group of pain-relieving drugs which interact with opioids receptors in our cells. When the medication travels through the body and attach to the opioids receptors, the cells then release signals that limit the feeling of pain while boosting the feeling of pleasure. When taken at lower doses, the medication often makes one drowsy, but higher doses can slow breathing and heart rate, potentially leading to death. The pleasurable feeling one may experience with opioids can easily lead to an addiction of the drug. The opioid epidemic has resulted in patients misusing the pharmaceutical resulting in a rising number of overdoses.

Is Cannabis Effective for Treating Chronic Pain?

There is an increasing amount of evidence that proves medical marijuana is used just as effectively as opioids when treating chronic pain. The University of Michigan published a study in 2016 proved patients who used medical marijuana to control chronic pain experienced a 64% reduction of opioid use. Patients reported fewer side effects along with improvement in quality of life since using cannabis to manage pain.

The efficacy of using medical marijuana to manage pain is due to the endocannabinoid properties found in the plant, which is thought to play a key role in how the body regulates and manages pain. As research continues, the current findings are good indicators that medical marijuana holds the potential to continue lowering opioid usage in North America.


Mary and Main is a fully licensed and certified medical marijuana dispensary located in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Founded by doctors and experienced caregivers, Mary and Main provides safe, premium quality medical cannabis products with exemplary and compassionate service to all certified patients who are suffering from a number of chronic debilitating illnesses.

Consult with our staff professionals to determine the best opiate-free, addiction-free treatment plan for your needs.

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