New Study Suggests Cannabis May Reduce Opioid Use For Pain Patients

The theory that cannabis can help reduce opioid dependency is getting more support.
New Study Suggests Cannabis May Reduce Opioid Use For Pain Patients

A new study lends more support to the notion that medical marijuana could help curtail opioid dependency. 

The research, published last month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found “behavioral economic evidence that cannabis access may modestly reduce demand for opioids in persons who have pain.” The team of researchers used an online survey to assess the frequency and dependency of cannabis and opioid use in adults who were treating pain.

“Adults reporting current use of opioids for pain management and past 30-day cannabis exposure…completed two hypothetical purchase tasks in which only grams of cannabis or units of participants’ index opioids were available for purchase, and two hypothetical tasks in which both were concurrently available and the price of one drug increased whereas the other was kept constant,” they wrote. 

They found that demand intensity was “significantly reduced” and that demand elasticity significantly increased for both cannabis and opioids “when the alternate commodity was available, although the reductions in cannabis consumption were more pronounced than they were for opioid consumption in the presence of the alternate commodity.”

The results, they concluded, point to an “opioid-sparing effect in this population,” although they noted that “additional clinical studies…are warranted.” 

Plants Over Pills?

Advocates and researchers have long held up marijuana as a safer alternative to prescription painkillers, which have been known to lead to long-term, and even deadly, addictions in patients who are treating pain. A separate study published late last year in “PLOS Medicine” found that individuals who use cannabis on a daily basis were 50 percent less likely to use opioids everyday. 

“We observed an independent negative association between frequent cannabis use and frequent illicit opioid use among people who use drugs with chronic pain,” the study said.

Opioid abuse has become an epidemic in the United States, driven at least in part by doctors overprescribing painkillers. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die each day in the United States from overdosing on opioids.

In addition to supplanting painkillers as a treatment, cannabis may also serve as an effective method to wean individuals off opioid addiction, which in some states is a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana prescription.

  1. Hey guys, my name is Michael from Nigeria. I was a very heavy user of Tramadol (Opioid) for almost 6yrs but since i started taking cannabis this year I don’t even think about taking any pills and i’ve disciplined myself on the amount of cannabis to use per day and i also give myself a max of 2wks break. Cannabis has really helped me overcome my Tramadol addiction.

  2. I developed an opioid dependency at just 13 yrs old due to many medical operations growing up. To make matters worse I was raised by 2 parents who were dependent as well. My mother still is to this day & my father overdosed in 2011. I have been prescribed to suboxone to get off of opiates for over 2 years now. I have always wished my family would’ve raised me in a state where medical marijuana is legal but I have lived in Indiana my entire life and the State of Indiana has recently filed criminal charges on me for marijuana possession & paraphernalia.

    I am just waiting to receive my tax checks & sba/gov EIDL grant so I can move to a state that’s medical marijuana friendly & I am researching the laws on which state is going to give me the best chances of allowing me to own my own cannabis business with have a prior felony conviction from 2012. If Anyone has any insight to shoot my way please do so, all will be appreciated.

    PS: You guys can find me on Instagram @digitaldaddy100

    Big up the homie @digitaldaddy100 🏆Success on the first try with the cross-joint🙌🙌🙌 How are you spendin this lazy Sunday? #easylikesundaymorning #smoke #joints #crossjoint #ganja #chico #california #cannabis #cannabiscommunity #marijuana #mysticroots #quarantine #irie #reggae

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts