Preliminary healthcare marijuana investigation shows guarantee in lessening opioid use, but requires to be confirmed by additional research


ORLANDO, Fla. – Healthcare marijuana shows early guarantee to lessen opioid use and prospective abuse, suggests a systematic assessment of published research becoming presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting. On the other hand, substantially additional rigorous scientific investigation need to be accomplished to establish if there genuinely are discomfort relief added benefits to healthcare marijuana that can ease chronic discomfort and outweigh prospective dangers.

The evaluation focused on seven research, 5 of which concluded healthcare marijuana may possibly be linked with added benefits such as: decreased opioid overdose prices, decreased opioid use, enhanced good quality of life and enhanced discomfort handle.

“Overall the final results recommend healthcare marijuana may possibly give some advantage in mitigating opioid misuse, but the research had been not randomized controlled trials comparing marijuana to a placebo, which is what we want to establish a accurate advantage,” stated Mario Moric, MS, lead author of the study and a biostatistician at Rush University Healthcare Center, Chicago. “There are other challenges to take into account as effectively, which includes side effects and the truth that these goods normally are not regulated.”

“Long-term effects of healthcare marijuana are not identified and haven’t been studied however. Early clinical proof suggests that marijuana may possibly have detrimental effects on the brain,” stated Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D., co-author of the study, chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Committee on Discomfort Medicine and vice chair of investigation at Rush University Healthcare Center.

The researchers determined the impact of the combined research was .59, which means the added benefits of healthcare marijuana had been discovered to be weak to moderate all round, but considerable. Something above is constructive and something beneath is adverse, with 1 or greater demonstrating a robust impact for this kind of investigation.

The many findings from the 5 research that showed a constructive advantage incorporated a 29% reduction in opioid overdoses in states with healthcare marijuana and a 44% to 64% reduction in opioid use amongst chronic discomfort sufferers. The two other research discovered no proof of lowered opioid use all round. A single of these research discovered that discomfort really enhanced for a smaller subset of sufferers applying marijuana who had additional illnesses and had been sicker in basic. The researchers note that for the reason that research reporting constructive findings are additional probably to be published than these with adverse ones, the final results of this new systematic assessment may possibly be skewed.

At present, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized healthcare marijuana, but all set their personal regulations, which differ. Identified side effects of marijuana can variety from sleepiness to liver harm. Also, the lack of oversight and inconsistent regulation signifies components can differ and may possibly involve pesticides and other impurities.

Quick-term opioids can be beneficial for easing discomfort when managed safely and the dangers are minimized, but longer use requires to be weighed for danger vs. advantage. Extra than 11 million Americans misuse opioids, additional than two million have an opioid abuse disorder and an estimated 130 people today die of an opioid overdose each and every day. *Extra than 20% of Americans endure from chronic discomfort, according to the Centers for Illness Manage and Prevention.

“While we await greater investigation on marijuana, discomfort specialists such as doctor anesthesiologists can provide numerous non-opioid medicines and other options to treat chronic discomfort such as injections, nerve blocks, physical therapy and spinal cord stimulation,” stated Dr. Buvanendran.

The ASA supports additional rigorous research on marijuana and not too long ago endorsed two bills that seek to expand investigation: H.R. 601, the Healthcare Cannabis Analysis Act of 2019 and S. 2032, the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Analysis Expansion Act.



Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, investigation and scientific society with additional than 53,000 members organized to raise and sustain the requirements of the healthcare practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to guaranteeing doctor anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the healthcare care of sufferers prior to, throughout and right after surgery to give the highest good quality and safest care each and every patient deserves.

For additional data on the field of anesthesiology, stop by the American Society of Anesthesiologists on line at To discover additional about the function doctor anesthesiologists play in guaranteeing patient security, stop by Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 social conversation nowadays. Like ASA on Facebook, stick to ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES19.




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