Smoking marijuana appeared to enhance cravings and urges for opiates and promoted relapse to opiate use,” the study author writes. Among the factors considered were drug use prior to developing OUD, length of time between sobriety and first relapse by smoking cannabis, effects of smoking weed on cravings and urges, and time between relapse on cannabis and return to opiate use. The patients “who tried to smoke marijuana as a harm reduction strategy to not return to opioid use were not successful. All program participants “said they were motivated by the desire to get high and by the belief that smoking marijuana would help them to not return to opiate use,” notes the study abstract. And another Canadian study of patients seeking medical cannabis to treat chronic pain found that opioid use was halved for those staying in the study until the end.
Despite the promise of cannabis as a therapy for opioid use disorder (OUD), a new pilot study suggests young people who smoked weed to avoid returning to opiate use reported the approach was ineffectual and promoted relapse.
That is the finding of a pre-proof study that synopsizes the experiences of 26 adolescents and young adults — 18 males and eight females between 14 and 22 — who have OUD and were in an intensive outpatient treatment program.
The patients “who tried to smoke marijuana as a harm reduction strategy to not return to opioid use were not successful....
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