Published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases in August 2021, this study examined 100 patients suffering from non-cancer chronic pain.
Cannabis use in the patients that were previously using ONLY opioids resulted in 93% of those patients being able to stop or reduce their opioid use after initiating cannabis treatment. Some of the younger patients (10) did meet the clinical criteria for Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD), however their lifetime depression incidence was drastically higher (80% vs. 43%), so it is difficult to draw general conclusions about CUD and age. There is also a fairly low threshold set by clinicians for a CUD diagnosis, such that almost anyone that uses cannabis daily would be characterized as having CUD.
"While medical cannabis may help reduce opioid use in chronic non-cancer pain patients, younger age, depression, and other risk factors should be carefully evaluated before cannabis is prescribed."
The paper abstract from PubMed.gov is here.