Washington, DC: Chronic pain patients significantly reduce their use of prescription opioids after they enroll in a statewide medical cannabis access program, according to the data Published in the magazine treat us.
A team of researchers evaluated opioid use trends in a group of 63 patients with pain after they were enrolled in the Delaware Medical Cannabis Program. All 63 patients were using prescription opioids at the time of their enrollment.
in line with Dozens of other studiesIn fact, people have significantly reduced their overall use of opioids over time.
The authors reported: “For non-external subjects with positive baseline opioid use prior to obtaining medical marijuana certification (n = 63), the mean percentage change in opioid use was found to be -31.3 percent. When examining subgroups based on On the pain site, individuals with lower back pain (n=58) showed a 29.4 percent reduction in MME. [morphine milligram equivalent] units, while individuals with neck pain (n = 27) were observed to have a 41.5 percent reduction in opioid use. Similarly, individuals with knee pain (n = 14) reduced their opioid use by 32.6 percent. … Since the underlying pathology and source of pain in individuals are unlikely to change significantly during the period examined, medical marijuana use could have played a large role in allowing individuals to reduce their opioid use. ”
They concluded: “The results of this study suggest that medical marijuana certification is associated with a reduction in prescription opioid use for chronic pain and support greater use of this adjuvant treatment modality. Given the importance of opioid addiction in American society, any additional treatment or resource for reducing Opioid overuse can aid in the multifactorial management of chronic pain. Although marijuana use causes a variety of side effects, the findings here suggest that the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct treatment for chronic pain may be beneficial to public health.”
The full text of the study, “Certification of medical cannabis correlates with reduced opioid use in patients with chronic pain: a retrospective study in Delaware,” appears in Cureus. Additional information about cannabis use for chronic pain is available from NORML. Additional information is available from the NORML fact sheet,”The relationship between marijuana and opiates“.