Study: Patients Report Substituting Cannabis For Opioids, Other Pain Medications

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

According to data published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, patients are successfully substituting cannabis for opioids and other analgesics for the treatment of pain. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Kent State University looked at data from 2,897 self-identified medical cannabis patients, of which 97% of those who acknowledged using opioid medications within the past 6 months were able to decrease their intake with thanks to the use of cannabis. Ninety-two percent of respondents also claimed cannabis had fewer side effects than opioids, and eighty-two percent said medical cannabis provided better relief and symptom management. Of the participants who had taken nonopioid-based pain medications, 96% were able to reduce their usage after beginning cannabis use, and 92% claimed medical cannabis was the more effective option. Authors explained, “[M]ore people are looking at cannabis as a viable treatment for everyday ailments such as muscle soreness and inflammation. … [T]his study can conclude that medical cannabis patients report successfully using cannabis along with or as a substitute for opioid-based pain medication.”

This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Finds the Endocannabinoid System can Manage Endometriosis Pain

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A research review led by Jerome Bouaziz at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel and published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests the endocannabinoid system may be able to mitigate the pain associated with endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium extends outside of the uterus, forming endometrial lesions or implants, which in turn results in severe and complex inflammatory, nociceptive, or neuropathic pain. Studies have found the endocannabinoid system aids in the establishment of endometriosis and its pain, and researchers have found the levels and symptoms of endometriosis pain are linked to decreased expression of CB1 receptors and an increase in endocannabinoids within the plasma. Boaziz explains, this “suggests a negative feedback loop regulation, which may impair the capability of these mediators to control pain.”

Some studies in the review associate endometriosis with endocannabinoid deficiency, and women who suffer endometriosis have lower levels of CB1 receptors in their endometrial tissue. Additionally, reduces endocannabinoid system function could contribute to the growth of endometriosis tissue and pain symptoms. This suggests that by targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists, endometriosis-associated pain and inflammation could be mitigated. Researchers conclude, “Targeting endocannabinoid modulation to treat pain is probably more than just treating the pain as it may impact several levels of the pathogenesis and the proliferation of the disease. Special attention and further investigation are needed to evaluate the impact of the potential therapeutic side effects, especially on fertility and pregnancy outcomes.”

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Read the full text of the study here