There is plenty of evidence that in places where cannabis is legal the amount of opioid-related deaths plummets. Mostly it’s been thought that this is due to those with chronic pain replacing their pharmaceutical medications with cannabis use, but a recent study has found that using low doses of opioids with cannabis can have the same effect as using higher doses of opioids together.
The research, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology has found through clinical trial data that cannabis used alongside “subtherapeutic doses” (lower doses than what normally would be effective) of oxycodone relieved pain at the same level of a higher dose of oxycodone.
The study was conducted by researchers from the United States and Australia. It was a placebo-controlled, double-blind study that included three groups: one that was given cannabis, one given oxycodone, and one given a combination of both. The two substances were found to work synergistically together.
According to the research “Both active cannabis and a low dose of oxycodone (2.5 mg) were sub-therapeutic, failing to elicit analgesia on their own, however, when administered together, pain response were significantly reduced, pointing to the opioid-sparing effects of cannabis.”
Patients currently on high doses of opioids could benefit from this information by lowering the amount of dangerous medications they are on and use cannabis as a way to achieve the same results.