7 Prescription Drugs Medical Marijuana Could Replace

Nearly 30 states have legalized medical marijuana, which has been shown to effectively treat a handful of disease symptoms so far. For those who don’t want to become dependent on prescription medications, or these treatments aren’t working as well as their doctors had hoped, this might be a life-changing solution.

While there are people living with certain health conditions that should stay away from marijuana at all costs, others might benefit significantly from its medical use. Here are the drugs marijuana could replace, from what research has suggested so far.

1. Insomnia drugs

woman sleeping

Sleep help could come from marijuana. | Povozniuk/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re dependent on a prescription sleep aid, cannabis might be a viable substitute — for a little while, at least. Studies still suggest that long-term use of marijuana to treat sleep disorders can be harmful, the same way more traditional sleep aids can cause harm if you use them consistently for too long.

Next: It might also relieve that constant ache in your side.

2. Pain pills

Prescription bottles at Publix

Are antibiotics and pain pills worth the cost to your health? | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Using cannabis to treat chronic pain might be the opioid replacement many Americans need. It’s estimated that up to a third of the U.S. population lives with chronic pain of some kind, and if there’s an alternative that works — even if doctors don’t fully understand how — it’s an option worth considering.

Next: It could also treat a completely different type of pain.

3. Antidepressants

Depressed businesswoman rubbing eyes in office

Could pot provide another solution? | MangoStar_Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Can you really use marijuana to treat depression, instead of a more conventional prescription drug? Some people can, if other treatments aren’t working. Early research suggests it has the potential to stabilize mood and relieve some symptoms.

Next: If meditation doesn’t work, you might still be able to ditch your prescription for this.

4. Anti-anxiety medications

A woman with anxiety featured image

Anxiety comes on strong for some people. | iStock.com/Viktor_Gladkov

Preliminary research suggests people who use medical marijuana to treat anxiety symptoms experience lower levels of stress than those who do not. Cannabis seems to mimic some of the effects of common prescriptions used to treat anxiety disorders.

Next: Treating this condition with marijuana could prevent blindness.

5. Glaucoma drugs

face close-up of beautiful young ethnic woman

Marijuana could act as a sort of supplement for overall eye health. | iStock.com/Jean-philippe WALLET

While medical marijuana can’t completely replace the drugs that help control glaucoma, occasional use might act as a sort of supplement to stabilize pressure in the eye. Unfortunately, its effects only last a few hours, and using too much of it might actually cancel out its benefits.

Next: Some people with this health condition don’t find relief with normal drug treatments.

6. Seizure drugs

Medical checkup

Marijuana may be able to reduce the number of seizures. | DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

Someone who experiences epileptic seizures might be resistant to the normal drugs used to control their condition. In these cases, a doctor might consider prescribing medical marijuana to reduce the number of potentially deadly seizures a person has in a day.

Next: People with this deadly disease might feel a lot better with a medical marijuana prescription.

7. Nausea medications

Lady suffering from stomach ache

Nausea is an annoying and frustrating side effect. | Sasha_Suzi/iStock/Getty Images

People undergoing chemotherapy to treat a variety of cancers often experience symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Some research suggests they might benefit from medical marijuana instead of a prescription nausea drug to relieve these symptoms.

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