Medical cannabis patient use significantly less opioids

Medical cannabis patient use significantly less opioids

According to a study published recently in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, patients prescribed medical cannabis for pain either significantly reduced or eliminated their use of opioids.

Researchers studied self-reported opioid consumption among authorized medical cannabis patients who suffered from pain-related issues. They discovered that after 12 months, the patients’ use of opioids decreased by half.

During the 12 months, many patients switched from consuming herbal cannabis to ingesting oil extracts. They also reported a higher quality of life, and their general health symptom scores improved compared to a baseline.

“Over time, individuals who continued consuming cannabis within this longitudinal study reported lower pain severity and pain interference scores, as well as improved quality of life and general health symptoms scores,” the study said. “[B]eneficial effects of cannabis appear to persist long-term and tolerance may not become a significant issue for patients on a stable regimen. … [T]he proportion of patients using opioids at each follow-up was decreased, … suggesting an opioid-sparing effect with cannabis use. … Our data speaks to the need for robust clinical trials, given the overall increase in opioid cessation for those that remained on cannabis.”

A separate Canadian study discovered patients prescribed opioids reduced their dosage by more than 70 percent after using medical cannabis.