PainRelief.com Interview with:
|Dr. Zena Samaan , MBChB, MSc, DMMD, MRCPsych (UK), PhD|
Clinician Investigator Program
Faculty of Health Sciences
|Department of Psychiatry|
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: The study background: the interest in cannabis use as a replacement for opioid use was sparked by reports suggesting that cannabis is a safer alternative and the public perception of cannabis as the answer for many health problems is growingly fueling the debate on the potential use of cannabis to help in the opioid crisis. Reports from USA for example in 2014 using administrative data suggested that in States were there is medical cannabis law, the rate of death attributed to opioids was lower, generating wide media attention. Since then however an updated study using the same data published in 2019 showed that when the data were re-analyzed and the time frame was extended, the opposite was seen, in that states with cannabis law had higher opioid related mortality.
Our study came form the observations that patients with opioid use disorder are commonly using cannabis (~50% of patients used cannabis while on treatment for opioid addiction) and given the recent public interest, our goal was to provide evidence informed conclusions on the potential effects of cannabis on opioid use in patients with opioid addiction.