Medical Cannabis Could Reduce Use of Benzodiazepines

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Benzodiazepines are a class of sedatives commonly used for anxiety and other neurological conditions but they can produce several adverse effects. An observational study published by the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal looked at 146 patients with marijuana prescriptions and investigated the reduction of benzodiazepine use in those patients. Results from the study showed that after three cannabis prescription courses, 45 percent of total participants had discontinued benzodiazepine.

After completing an average two-month single prescription course of medical cannabis, 30 percent of patients using benzodiazepines had discontinued use. After two prescription courses, 44 percent had discontinued benzodiazepines and, at a final follow-up after three courses, 45 percent had successfully discontinued use, showing a stable cessation rate over six months. 

This observation shows that further investigation is needed in order to determine medical cannabis’ role in reducing or replacing benzodiazepines, including if there are any risks or benefits for doing so. 

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