Medical cannabis helps reduce opioid use in chronic pain patients

Published in the January/February edition of the journal Pain Physician, this study focused on the effects of medical cannabis on opioid dosing in chronic pain patients. It included 115 patients from a Pennsylvania institute for pain medicine.

"At the end of their trial period, patients were clinically evaluated for their response to medical cannabis and screened for adverse side effects. At that time, if the patient was personally satisfied with their level of response, barring adverse side effects, they subsequently underwent a mandatory opioid weaning process tailored to their specific clinical situation."

The results were promising, with a 67% average decrease in their daily morphine milligram equivalent (MME) at the first follow-up (6 months) after initiating medical cannabis in conjunction with a tapered Chronic Opioid Therapy (COT). At the second follow-up there was an average reduction in opioid MME of 73% (49.9 to 13.3).

"After discussing the risks, benefits, and potential side effects of chronic opioid therapy with the patient, the authors of this study present medical cannabis, used with the current study’s paradigm, as a potentially effective class of treatment for chronic pain."

The full-text PDF study is here at PainPhysicianJournal.com