As more and more studies are being done on cannabis and its benefits, new discoveries are being made. It’s clear that the health risks of cannabis, even when smoking from rolling papers or blunt wraps, are much less harmful than opioids.
According to Harm Reduction Journal, a new study has shown that daily cannabis use is associated with lower odds of opioid usage among subjects undergoing drug treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. Investigators with McMasters University in Ontario evaluated the correlation between self-reported marijuana use and opioid use over a 90-day period in a sample size of 2,316 subjects undergoing clinical treatment for OUD.
Over half of the subjects in the study (around 51%) acknowledged using marijuana. Researchers said, “We found that amongst cannabis users, those who use cannabis daily are less likely to have opioid use than people who use cannabis occasionally. This association was present for both men and women.” Those who reported daily marijuana use had significantly reduced odds of using opioids, logging an opioid risk of about 0.61. By contrast, those that reported seldom cannabis use didn’t maintain a similarly lower risk.
Data was also published which states that subjects who engaged in Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) who also consumed cannabis are less likely than non-users to have any exposure to fentanyl. There was a literary review on the subject, concluding, “The evidence summarized in this article demonstrates the potential cannabis has to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms, reduce opioid consumption, ameliorate opioid cravings, prevent opioid relapse, improve OUD treatment retention, and reduce overdose deaths.”
It’s data such as this that displays exactly why we need more cannabis reform in order to continue to conduct research.