Study Shows Cannabis Consumption Could Decrease Opioid Dependence

A new study being conducted by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use in Vancouver, Canada found that cannabis could help folks managing chronic pain stay off of opioids.

Science Daily reports that the study revealed daily cannabis use by those who are managing pain correlates with reduced opioid use. “These findings, in combination with past research, again demonstrate that people are using cannabis to help manage many different conditions, including pain. And in some cases, they’re using cannabis in place of opioids,” said senior author Dr. M-J Milloy, a research scientist at BCCSU and the Canopy Growth professor of cannabis science at UBC. “In the midst of an ongoing public health emergency caused by opioid overdose deaths, the results suggest that increasing access to cannabis for therapeutic purposes could help curb overdose risk associated with illicit opioid use.”

Results from the study show that consumers who use cannabis daily have almost 50 percent less chance of using illicit opioids. Those who used cannabis occasionally were at the same risk of using illicit opioids. The study also showed that daily cannabis users were more likely to claim that they were using cannabis for medical reasons such as pain, stress, nausea, mental health and sleep issues. “These findings point to a need to design formal clinical evaluations of cannabis-based strategies for pain management, opioid use disorder treatment supports, and wider harm reduction initiatives,” said Stephanie Lake, a PhD candidate at UBC’s school of population and public health, and the lead author of the study, according to Science Daily.

There is already evidence that cannabis legalization lowers the rate of opiate hospitalization, and action is finally being taken against the big opiate manufacturers. There’s more evidence all the time that cannabis can be a positive for those with chronic pain.

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