Study: Medical Cannabis Registrants More Likely To Cease Using Opioids Compared To Non-Participants

Pain reliefChronic pain patients enrolled in a statewide medical cannabis access program are significantly more likely to either reduce or cease their use of opioids as compared to non-enrolled patients suffering from similar pain conditions, according to data published online in the journal PLOS One.

A team of investigators at the University of New Mexico assessed opioid prescription use patterns over a 21-month period in 37 pain patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal cannabis program versus 29 non-enrolled patients.

Compared to non-users, medical cannabis enrollees “were more likely either to reduce daily opioid prescription dosages between the beginning and end of the sample period (83.8 percent versus 44.8 percent) or to cease filling opioid prescriptions altogether (40.5 percent versus 3.4 percent).” Enrollees were also more likely to report an improved quality of life.

Authors concluded, “The clinically and statistically significant evidence of an association between MCP enrollment and opioid prescription cessation and reductions and improved quality of life warrants further investigations on cannabis as a potential alternative to prescription opioids for treating chronic pain.”

Prior studies similarly report that patients enrolled in cannabis access programs are more likely to reduce their use of opioids and other prescription drugs.

Full text of the study, “Association between medical cannabis and prescription opioid use in chronic pain patients: A preliminary cohort study,” appears online here. NORML’s marijuana and opioids fact-sheet is online here.

0 thoughts

  1. Everyone knows for decades there has been a “conversational” (slang) habit of referring to riefer (oops sorry cannabis) as “dope”. Now it’s time to start LISTENING to #1 world reference language English words, and if you do you will agree the word “dope” clearly refers to opiates (or in new parlance, opioids).
    Just another anti-cannabis lie to erase from our speech, and from published articles, along with pictures of “joints” which, seen by the baby while Mom reads some article, are $iggerette advertising.

  2. I had to take Vicodin after I broke my wrist, but I only needed it for four days and then pot was able to do the job just fine. Which was good because I could already feel at four days that opioid tolerance was kicking in. Scary!

  3. Those of us in pain to the degree of being on disability want the right to use a natural medication to help us. We demand the right! Stop Sessions witch hunt and help legalize marijuana so we can help our selves.

  4. The fact is that there are different types of pain from different sources, and different medicine works better for different things. Also, different medicine works better for different people.

    There are people with degenerative diseases who have been on constant doses of opiates for decades with no development of tolerance. Cannabinoids, however, are much better for some people and for some diseases, and should definitely be an option.

    Just don’t start in on a witchhunt against opiates, please. We don’t want to make the prohibition mistake a THIRD time.

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