Study: Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Opioid Use in Back Pain Patients

San Francisco, CA: The adjunctive use of cannabis is associated with decreasing levels of opioid use in some patients with lower back pain, according to observational data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

A team of investigators from California, Pennsylvania, and Florida assessed the long-term impact of cannabis therapy in patients taking opioids for lower back pain. Over a six-year period, more than half of the study’s subjects diminished or ceased their use of opioids. Those participants who used higher doses of cannabis were more likely to halt their opioid intake.

The findings are consistent to those of several other papers reporting that pain patients often mitigate or cease their use of opioids after initiating medical cannabis therapy.

Full text of the study, "The impact of medical cannabis on intermittent and chronic opioid users with back pain: How cannabis diminished prescription opioid usage," appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheetRelationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’