Chronic Pain Patients Swapping Opioids for Medical Cannabis

Almost one third of patients with chronic pain report using medical cannabis to manage that pain, with more than half of them decreasing use of other pain medications, including opioids, new research shows. “That patients report substituting cannabis for pain medicines so much really underscores the need for research on the benefits and risks of … Read more

Placebo Effect a Major Driver of Pain Reduction in Cannabis Trials

A strong placebo response may be largely responsible for the significant pain reduction observed in clinical trials of cannabis-based therapies, results of a new meta-analysis suggest. Investigators found that while the effect of cannabinoids on pain intensity was significant, the placebo effect was about the same. “The data from the present meta-analysis, including 1,459 patients … Read more

States’ Push to Legalize Psychedelics Gaining Momentum

The push to legalize psychedelic drugs is gaining momentum in states across the country, with a sevenfold increase in the number of decriminalization bills since 2019, new research shows. Researchers identified 74 bills and referendums in 25 states introduced during the study period that either sought to reform existing laws and expand access to psychedelic … Read more

Colorado Voters Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

DENVER (AP) — Colorado voters have passed a ballot initiative to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms for people 21 and older and to create state-regulated “healing centers” where participants can experience the drug under supervision. Colorado becomes the second state, after Oregon, to vote to establish a regulated system for substances like psilocybin and psilocin, the hallucinogens … Read more

Mental Disorders Up in Youth With Prenatal Cannabis Exposure

Exposure to cannabis in the womb may leave children at risk for psychiatric disorders and problematic substance abuse, particularly as they enter peak periods of vulnerability in late adolescence, new research shows. In a study published September 12 in JAMA Pediatrics, the investigators say the results should prompt further caution against the use of cannabis … Read more

Cannabis for Pain Linked to Slight Risk for Arrhythmia

Patients who received a first prescription for medicinal cannabis for chronic pain were more likely to have new onset of arrhythmia — bradyarrhythmia, tachyarrhythmia, or a conduction disorder — within 6 months than were similar nonusers, in a new case-control study. There were no between-group differences in the incidence of heart failure or acute coronary … Read more

Potent Cannabis Linked to More Worldwide Addiction

Cannabis potency has increased worldwide in recent decades and is linked with more people becoming addicted to marijuana, according to a new study published in Lancet Psychiatry. People who use higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, are more likely to have addiction and mental health problems, the study authors found. For research, scientists have established … Read more

Study Sees Surge in Use of Medical Cannabis

In 2020 nearly 3 million people in the United States sought out medical cannabis, in marijuana or other forms, more than four times the number who did so in 2016, a new study has found. Much of the increase involved people seeking medical cannabis for chronic pain, which remains the leading reason Americans say they … Read more

Cannabis on Par With Opioids for Pain Relief, Study Suggests

Cannabis-based products may control chronic pain as effectively as opioids, but adverse effects are common, and long-term safety remains unknown, according to a new study. Several other systematic reviews have recently evaluated cannabinoids for treating chronic pain, but the new study’s methodology was “distinct” in “important ways,” leading to “conclusions that differ from other reviews,” … Read more

Cannabinoids in Medicine: Limitless Hope or Hype?

What is the role of cannabinoids as an intoxicant and in medical applications today? This was the question addressed by Dieter Braus, MD, psychiatrist and neurologist at Vitos Clinic Rheingau in Eltville, Germany, at the DGIM Congress 2022. Dampening the Dopamine System Regardless of the type of substance-dependent addiction — whether alcohol, opiates, nicotine, or … Read more