HelloMD and U.C. Berkeley Will Study Pot as Cure for Opioid Abuse

Giving painkiller addiction the old college try.

In a turnabout on recent efforts by a manufacturer of the lethal painkiller fentanyl to limit the availability of legal marijuana, HelloMD is teaming with the University of California Berkeley to study the effectiveness of medical cannabis in reducing America’s dependence on addictive prescription opioids.

From HelloMD:

HelloMD has embarked on the largest patient survey concerning cannabis, pain and opioid use ever performed. We will be using a patient database of approximately 100,000 to ask questions regarding cannabis and how it has affected the patient’s use of opioids. Performed under the auspices of the University of California, Berkeley, HelloMD is following up the landmark “Medical Marijuana Patient Survey Results” study of 17,000 patients, conducted in January 2016.

Opioid use in the U.S. has been described as a crisis, an epidemic, and a financial boom. According to Centers for Disease Control statistics, prescription painkiller ODs killed more than 165,000 people between 1999 and 2014, with 18,893 deaths occurring in 2014 alone. Meanwhile, the number of fatal marijuana overdoses in that same timeframe can be counted on one finger, but impolite gestures do nothing to further the conversation; so please put that finger away. 

HelloMD, which detractors—up until now—may have dismissed as little more than a California pot-doc recommendation mill, plans to release its findings and suggested next steps during the first quarter of 2017.