Opioid Reduction Information

Opioid reduction is an area of growing interest amongst healthcare professionals and patients in Canada.

Currently, Canada is the third highest consumer of opioids in the world. That is very concerning when you think about it with Canada’s population in mind. Current guidelines are shifting away from recommending opioids as a first-line option for acute and chronic non-cancer pain (with exceptions). While opioid therapy is not the first-line option for non-cancer pain, it is still used in certain scenarios. This still carries its own risk if used at high doses over time. As a result, more researchers are studying cannabis for its potential opioid-sparing effects while it continues to help with pain control. View the latest research on cannabis & opioid reduction below.

  • Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses. Opioids and stimulant-related Harms in Canada. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada. December 2020.
  • Sihota, A., Smith, B.K., Ahmed, S., Bell, A., Blain, A., Clarke, H., et. al. (2020, November 28) Consensus‐based recommendations for titrating cannabinoids and tapering opioids for chronic pain control. The International Journal of Clinical Practice.
  • Pawasarat, I.M., Schultz, E.M., Frisby, J.C., Mehta, S., Angelo, M.A., Hardy, S.S. and Kim, T.B., (2020, May 29) The Efficacy of Medical Marijuana in the Treatment of Cancer-Related Pain. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 809-816.
  • Campbell, G., Hall, W.D., Peacock, A., et al. (2018, July) Effect of cannabis use in people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed opioids: findings from a 4-year prospective cohort study. Lancet Public Health. 3(7):e341-e350.
  • Cooper, Z.D., Bedi, G., Ramesh, D., Balter, R., Comer, S.D., Haney, M., (2018, February 5) Impact of co-administration of oxycodone and smoked cannabis on analgesia and abuse liability. Neuropsychopharmacology. 43(10):2046-2055.
  • Sohler, N.L., Starrels, J.L., Khalid, L., et al. (2018, January 17) Cannabis Use is Associated with Lower Odds of Prescription Opioid Analgesic Use Among HIV-Infected Individuals with Chronic Pain. Subst Use Misuse. 53(10):1602-1607.
  • Nielsen, S., Sabioni, P., Trigo, J.M., et al. (2017, March 22) Opioid-Sparing Effect of Cannabinoids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Neuropsychopharmacology. 42(9):1752-1765.
  • Manini, A.F., Yiannoulos, G., Bergamaschi, M.M., et al. (2015) Safety and pharmacokinetics of oral cannabidiol when administered concomitantly with intravenous fentanyl in humans. J Addict Med. 9(3):204-210.

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