Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids

Cannabis access is associated with reduced rates of opioid use and abuse, opioid-related hospitalizations, opioid-related traffic fatalities, opioid-related drug treatment admissions, and opioid-related overdose deaths

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  • This cohort study of New York State Prescription Monitoring Program data from 2017 to 2019 included patients receiving MC for chronic pain while also receiving opioid treatment. Of these, patients receiving LOT [long-term opioid therapy] prior to receiving MC were selected. Individuals were studied for 8 months after starting MC [medical cannabis]. … The daily MME [morphine milligram equivalent] for the last month of the follow-up period among patients receiving longer MC was reduced by 48% in the lowest stratum, 47% in the middle stratum, and 51% in the highest stratum compared with the baseline dosages. … In this cohort study of patients receiving LOT, receiving MC for a longer duration was associated with reductions in opioid dosages. … These findings contribute robust evidence for clinicians regarding the potential benefits of MC in reducing the opioid burden for patients receiving LOT and possibly reduce their risk for overdose.Changes in prescribed opioid dosages among patients receiving medical cannabis for chronic pain, New York State, 2017-2019, JAMA Network Open, 2023

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