A recent study from the BC Centre on Substance Use and UBC has found an association between daily cannabis use and lowered odds of illicit opioid use, suggesting people who use drugs (PWUD) are substituting opioids with cannabis for chronic pain management.
Between June 2014 and December 2017, researchers interviewed over 1,100 Vancouver residents at risk for opioid overdose who reported having chronic pain. Statistical modelling and self-reported rates of cannabis usage were used to estimate daily opioid usage. Results from the model showed that people who used cannabis daily had nearly 50 per cent lower odds of using illicit opioids than non-cannabis users, while people who used cannabis occasionally and non-cannabis users had the same likelihood of using opioids.
“These findings provide longitudinal observational evidence that cannabis may serve as an adjunct to or substitute for illicit opioid use among PWUD with chronic pain,” reads the study.
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