Research: Medical Cannabis Successfully Replaces Opioids

medical cannabis canada opioids

A new study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences finds that patients suffering from chronic pain were able to move off of opioids after being treated with oil-based medical cannabis. 

According to the Canadian government’s Pain Taskforce nearly 8 million Canadians suffer from chronic pain. Their research finds that, “an estimated 7.6 million, or one in five people (across the lifespan), live with chronic pain, many of whom report it adversely affecting some or most daily activities.

As Canada’s population continues to skew older, the taskforce expects these reported levels of chronic pain to continue to rise. All this adds up to a stark picture with people suffering from chronic pain finding it more difficult to function at work, school and general family and community activities.

“My pain has had a significant impact on my life. It impacts my ability to get out of bed, get ready, go to school, go to work, exercise, and spend time with my friends and loved ones. Pain causes me to compromise on every aspect of my life,” said one Canadian.

Many suffering from chronic pain look to opioid-based medications like Hydromorphone, Morphine, Codeine and Oxycodone. In 2018 it was reported that about 3.7 million Canadians aged 15 years or older used some type of opioid pain medication in the previous 12 months.

The report concluded that:

“Canada continues to experience an opioid public health emergency wherein opioid-related poisonings and deaths continue to rise.”

And that,

“Pain management has primarily relied on prescription opioids as treatment, and this has contributed to the development of the opioid crisis in Canada.”

This most recent study on medical cannabis and opioids found that patients who used cannabis oil significantly reduced their use of opioid medications to manage their chronic pain symptoms.

They state that:

“Pain medication patterns of prescribing show how necessary it is to improve prescription practices among chronic pain patients. Opioid-sparing medications represent a crucial aspect of the pain treatment process, along with deprescribing protocols. ”

If you think you might benefit from medical cannabis to treat your chronic pain, set up a free consultation with our medical cannabis health practitioners at Hello MD. It only takes a minute to set up the appointment and a consultation takes about the same amount of time as a regular visit to your family doctor (minus the wait room).