While Big Pharma doesn't think this is good news, the families of the 44 people per day who die from painkiller overdoses would say otherwise.
A newly published study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that 273 Michigan prescription painkiller users found cannabis to be more effective on pain that their prescriptions, and the patients “indicated a strong desire to reduce [pill] usage.”
The study also found that painkiller users who supplement with cannabis don't turn into omnivorous drug fiends, either.
“Use of [prescription pain medications] among medical cannabis users was not identified as a correlate for more serious forms of alcohol and other drug involvement,” the study concluded.
Early studies have shown states with medical marijuana laws have 33 percent less overdose deaths than non-MMJ states. Other early studies show cannabis allows opioid users to take less pills, which is probably contributing to their increased likelihood of living.
In 2013 there were over 16,000 painkiller overdoses in the US - where there were 0 from cannabis. In fact, cannabis has no overdose level, according to the National Cancer Institute (and avid smokers across the world).