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Home » Should Physicians Recommend Replacing Opioids with Cannabis?

Should Physicians Recommend Replacing Opioids with Cannabis?

JAMA. 2019;321(7):639-640. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0077

The evidence that cannabis is an efficacious treatment for opioid use disorder is even weaker. To date, no prospective evidence, either from clinical trials or observational studies, has demonstrated any benefit of treating patients who have opioid addiction with cannabis.

If Cannabis Is Recommended Medicine, It Should Be Held to Medical Standards


For chronic pain, there are numerous alternatives to opioids aside from cannabis. Nonopioid medications appear to have similar efficacy,3 and behavioral, voluntary, slow-tapering interventions can improve function and well-being while reducing pain.,,,Without convincing evidence of efficacy of cannabis for this indication, it would be irresponsible for medicine to exacerbate this problem by encouraging patients with opioid addiction to stop taking these medications and to rely instead on unproven cannabis treatment.

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