Patients authorized to use medical cannabis significantly reduce or eliminate their use of opioids over time, according to longitudinal data published in the Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia.
A team of Canadian investigators assessed self-reported opioid consumption patterns over time in a cohort of authorized medical cannabis patients who suffered from pain-related issues. Consistent with numerous other studies, researchers reported that many subjects tapered their use of opioids following medical cannabis initiation. “The proportion of individuals who reported using opioids decreased by half” over a period of twelve months, they determined.
In addition, subjects’ “pain intensity and pain-related interference scores were reduced and [their]quality of life and general health symptom scores were improved compared with baseline.” Authors also noted that many subjects switched from consuming herbal cannabis to ingesting oil extracts over the course of the trial.