Majority of Americans think natural remedies like cannabis are safer than prescription drugs

Half of Americans have turned to a natural remedy to treat an ailment, rather than a prescription medication, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 Americans found one in two of those surveyed have eschewed more traditional medicine in favor of natural alternatives.

The study examined respondents’ opinions on natural remedies, cannabis, marijuana and hemp, as well as the recent increase in opioid use in the United States.

Results found nearly three-quarters of respondents believe natural remedies — such as cannabis, marijuana or hemp — are safer than prescription medicines (74 percent).

Another 78 percent of respondents believe that cannabis should be more available as a pain treatment — with 52 percent in strong agreement and another 27 percent in slight agreement.

More than seven in 10 respondents, however, believed there is a negative stigma around using natural remedies for pain relief, including the use of medical cannabis.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Remedy Review, the survey also found 78 percent of respondents reported using a natural remedy at some point.

Respondents reported choosing to use a natural remedy because it was more affordable (66 percent) and easier to obtain (56 percent) than a prescription medication.

Half of those polled who said they had turned to a natural remedy rather than a prescription also reported feeling worried they would become addicted to prescription medication.

Respondents were then asked what they felt would be efficient ways to combat the increased use of opioids across the United States — with seven in 10 respondents describing it as a “crisis.”

Nearly eight in 10 respondents agreed with the sentiment that doctors should be held legally responsible if they overprescribe opioids and patients become addicted.

The top avenue to combat the opioid crisis, according to those surveyed, is increasing regulations for drug companies and manufacturers that make opioids (59 percent).

Other avenues included legalizing medical marijuana (55 percent), as well as the legalization of recreational marijuana (43 percent).

However, 79 percent of respondents also said more research is needed to fully understand the medical properties and benefits of cannabis and marijuana.

“Hemp-derived CBD offers people the chance to find relief without fear of addiction,” said Marc Lewis, Executive Editor of Remedy Review. “But with this promise comes a need for more clinical studies, industry oversight and clear quality standards to govern production.”

More people than you think are using products that contain compounds derived from cannabis, however, as 69 percent of respondents reported using a product that contains cannabidoil (CBD) at some point in their lives — with 33 percent currently using one.

Although CBD is not illegal, 46 percent of respondents incorrectly believed CBD products are fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

In reality, the FDA has only approved one prescription drug product and has not approved any other CBD products.

“Consumers should always do their research before buying CBD products online,” said Lewis of Remedy Review. “Products have been shown to contain pesticides and dangerous solvents, even synthetic cannabinoids. It’s very important to protect yourself in a market growing this quickly.”


  1. A natural remedy was more affordable 66%
  2. A natural remedy was easier to obtain 56%’
  3. I prefer natural remedies over prescription medications 55%
  4. I was worried I would become addicted to prescription medication 50%
  5. I did not want to go to a doctor to get a prescription medication 32%


  1. Create more regulations for companies that make/sell opioids 59%
  2. Legalization of marijuana (medical use) 55%
  3. Create rules to hold medical professionals who prescribe opioids accountable 49%
  4. Legalization of marijuana (recreational use) 43%
  5. Create regulations for natural remedies/alternatives 38%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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