Study: Fewer Patients with Pelvic Pain Taking Opioids Following Cannabis Legalization

Vancouver, Canada: An increasing percentage of Canadian patients with pelvic pain are accessing cannabis and those who do are consuming fewer opioids, according to data published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of British Columbia retrospectively evaluated cannabis use among women with self-reported pelvic pain over a six-year period (2013 to 2019).

Researchers reported that cannabis use among pelvic pain patients rose 32 percent following the legalization of marijuana in Canada. Cannabis users were more likely than non-users to be taking fewer prescription medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids – a finding that is consistent with dozens of prior studies of other patient populations. 

Authors concluded: “Post-legalization, cannabis users were less likely to require daily opioids compared with cannabis users before legalization. The role, perceived benefits, and possible risks of cannabis for pelvic pain require further investigation.” 

Separate data published in December reported that more than 20 percent of US women with pelvic pain are using either cannabis or CBD therapeutically. Ninety-six percent of those consumers reported that cannabis products provided them with improvement for one or more symptoms, including pain, cramping, and sleep disturbances.

Full text of the study, “Recreational cannabis use before and after legalization in women with pelvic pain,” appears in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, “Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.