Reduction of Benzodiazepine Use in Patients Prescribed Medical Cannabis
Benzodiazepines (BDs) like Xanax, are a class of medications used for anxiety, seizures, insomnia, and a variety of other neurological/psychiatric conditions. The adverse side effects of BDs are well documented and include dependence, addiction, withdrawal, and overdose. This study was performed on 146 medical cannabis patients who were using BDs at the initiation of cannabis therapy and was focused on investigating the reduction of BD use in patients who were prescribed medical cannabis. Following three clinical visits, 45.2% of the patients involved in the study had completely discontinued their use of BDs. In addition, following three clinical visits there was a significant reduction in the percentage of patients who reported that their medical conditions which ranged from neurologic pathology to chronic pain affected their life “all the time.” This study illuminates the need for continued research of medical cannabis and its potential as a legitimate treatment option for certain conditions. Further, more research should be conducted into the mechanism by which cannabis and cannabinoids can result in a reduction of benzodiazepine use.