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Toronto Pain Study On Medical Cannabis And Opioid Reduction: The Results

Jane Summers

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A new study of a pilot program was published by the American Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience addressing medical cannabis and opioid reduction programs. The study was conducted by Dr. Kevin Rod of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and others.

About 600 patients suffering from chronic pain and who were using opioids participated in the study. The patients had been receiving care at Dr. Rod’s Toronto Poly Clinic. There, they received doses of morphine to manage their pain.

Those who decided to participate in the study were given a tapering plan that matched their individual needs. The plan led to a reduction in opioid use, and an increase of CBD product. Patients also received mental health support from Zendose, a web-based mental health resource.

According to the study, participants reduced their use of opioids and increased their use of medical marijuana. During the course of half a year on this approach, about 26% of patients (156 patients) ceased taking opioids. Further, 55% (329 patients) saw a reduction of opioid use by about 30%. A small percentage, about 19% (114 patients) reported neither an increase or decrease in their use of opioids.

The study ultimately determined that the pilot program results were positive and such results may warrant further investigation. That is, further studies are needed to determine whether medical cannabis may be able to reduce opioid use.

The use of medical marijuana to ease the opioid crisis is not a new topic. For example, Colorado is looking to medical marijuana to ease the crisis, and it has become the third state in the country that permits doctors to recommend medical recommend for a condition which an opioid would be prescribed, according to NBC news.  As the article states,  Colorado is the “third state in the nation . . . to allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for any condition for which they would prescribe an opioid.” Although Colorado has a medical marijuana program, its governmental webpage alerts that “Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, where it’s still classified as a controlled substance.”

All information is for general informational and educational purposes only. Nothing should be interpreted as legal or medical advice.

Jane is a regular contributor who learned about the great benefits of CBD a few years ago after starting it herself. Impressed by its effects, she's interested in helping others learn about options that can be helpful for them.

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