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Study: Cannabis Treatment Leads To Reduced Opioid Use, More

Also read and watch: Cannabis As An Alternative To Substance And Drug Abuse

London, United Kingdom: Patients suffering from chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and other conditions report sustained improvements in their symptoms following the use of cannabis, according to observational data published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology Reports.

British investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of plant-derived cannabis products (either oils, flower, or a combination of both) in a cohort of 1,378 patients enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. Participants possessed a doctor’s authorization to access cannabis products. (Since 2018, healthcare specialists have been permitted to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products to patients unresponsive to conventional medications.) Authors assessed the efficacy of cannabis at one, three, six, and twelve months.

Consistent with prior studies, patients reported reduced levels of anxiety, better sleep, and improvements in their health-related quality of life following cannabis treatment. Many patients also reported decreases in their daily opioid consumption – a finding that is also consistent with numerous other studies.

The study’s authors concluded: “There was an associated improvement in self-reported anxiety, sleep quality, and HRQoL [health-related quality of life] in patients treated with the CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products]. Those prescribed treatment formulations including dried flower were most likely to show a clinical improvement. … There was a reduction in opioid prescriptions at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months compared to the baseline… Most reported adverse events were mild to moderate, consistent with prior assessments of safety.”

Other studies assessing the use of cannabis products in patients enrolled in the UK Cannabis Registry have reported them to be effective for those suffering from chronic painpost-traumatic stressdepressiongeneralized anxietymigraineinflammatory bowel disease, and other afflictions.

This article was republished via NORML. Full text of the study, “An observational study of clinical outcome measures in patients treated with cannabis-based medicinal products on the UK Medical Cannabis Registry,” appears in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology ReportsAdditional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’