Cannabis found not to be a substitute for opioids

November 19, 2019

HAMILTON, ON (Nov. 19, 2019) - There has been interest in cannabis being used as a replacement drug for people with opioid use disorder, but research at McMaster University has found it doesn't work.

The research team looked at all research on the effects of cannabis use on illicit opioid use during methadone maintenance therapy, which is a common treatment for opioid use disorder, and found six studies involving more than 3,600 participants.

However, a meta-analysis of the studies found cannabis use didn't reduce illicit opioid use during treatment nor did it retain people in treatment.

The study was published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"There is limited evidence that cannabis use may reduce opioid use in pain management, and some high-profile organizations have suggested cannabis is an 'exit drug' for illicit opioid use, but we found no evidence to suggest cannabis helps patients with opioid use disorder stop using opioids," said senior author Dr. Zainab Samaan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster and a Hamilton staff psychiatrist.
-end-
The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Editors: A picture of Zainab Samaan is attached.

Post embargo link to the paper: https://bit.ly/2Qjs7fn

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Veronica McGuire
Media Relations
Faculty of Health Sciences

location: HSC-2E47
phone: (905) 525-9140 x 22169
email: vmcguir@mcmaster.ca

McMaster University | Brighter World

McMaster University

Related Cannabis Articles from Brightsurf:

Cannabis to treat gynecological conditions
A significant number of women would consider using cannabis to treat gynecological conditions, primarily gynecological pain.

Cannabis data lacking, but machine learning could help
Everyone's heard of THC and CBD. But many other active compounds in cannabis interact to influence its effects.

Cannabis use for menopause symptom management
CLEVELAND, Ohio (September 28, 2020)--As legislation relaxes regarding cannabis, it is being used to manage numerous chronic health conditions and mood symptoms.

Prescribed CBD could help people quit cannabis
A benchmark clinical trial published today shows that cannabidiol (CBD) could be a safe and effective treatment for problematic cannabis use.

Pregnant women with depression are more than 3 times more likely to use cannabis
Cannabis use is much more common among pregnant women with depression and pregnant women with depression are more than 3 times more likely to use cannabis than those without depression.

Cannabis compound acts as an antibiotic 
Public health agencies worldwide have identified antibiotic resistance of disease-causing bacteria as one of humanity's most critical challenges.

Cannabis use during pregnancy
The large health care system Kaiser Permanente Northern California provides universal screening for prenatal cannabis use in women during pregnancy by self-report and urine toxicology testing.

Questions and answers about cannabis use during pregnancy
A new study shows that women have many medical questions about the use of cannabis both before and during pregnancy, and during the postpartum period while breastfeeding.

Managing cannabis use in breastfeeding women
As more states legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis use and increasingly decriminalize cannabis, the risk to the growth and development of breastfeeding infants whose mothers use cannabis becomes a growing public health concern.

Cannabis edibles present novel health risks
With the recent legalization of cannabis edibles in Canada, physicians and the public must be aware of the novel risks of cannabis edibles, argue authors in a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Read More: Cannabis News and Cannabis Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.