research

Throughout our country, we are experiencing an opioid epidemic that claims the lives of about 175 Americans per day. The measurable costs to our society are estimated to be over $500 billion per year. Most of these deaths and related problems are driven by synthetic prescription drugs. 

 

Meanwhile, evidence of the medical benefits of the natural cannabis plant continues to emerge, particularly its potential role in addressing the opioid epidemic. ​OPC will be leading cutting-edge scientific and clinical research along with our medical and scientific advisers. These efforts include research regarding the potential use of medical cannabis in cancer treatment and its role as an alternative to opioids for pain management in certain cases. This research, along with ongoing feedback we receive from patients, will inform specialized product formulations and methods of administration based on patient needs. 

 

Below are a few recent studies that explore the potential benefits of medical cannabis.

  • The National Academies of Sciences & Medicine (2017): “There is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective: (a) for the treatment for chronic pain in adults; (b) chemotherapy-induced nausea; and (c) multiple sclerosis spasticity.“

  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (2015): “Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence. Six trials that included 325 patients examined chronic pain, 6 trials that included 396 patients investigated neuropathic pain, and 12 trials that included 1600 patients focused on multiple sclerosis. Several of these trials had positive results, suggesting that marijuana or cannabinoids may be efficacious for these indications.”

  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (2014): “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws. Examination of the association between medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the law showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time.”   

  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (2015): “A total of 79 trials (6462 participants) were included... Compared with placebo, cannabinoids were associated with a greater average number of patients showing a complete nausea and vomiting response [post-chemotherapy], reduction in pain, a greater average reduction in numerical rating scale pain assessment and average reduction in the Ashworth spasticity scale.”

  • Journal of Psychopharmacology (2017): "Among respondents that regularly used opioids, over three-quarters (76.7%) indicated that they reduced their use since they started medical cannabis [...]. Approximately two-thirds of patients decreased their use of anti-anxiety (71.8%), migraine (66.7%), and sleep (65.2%) medications following medical cannabis [...]."

  • Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2017): A study of Illinois medical cannabis patients concluded that "medical cannabis appears to serve as both a complementary method for symptom management and treatment of medication side-effects associated with certain chronic conditions, and as an alternative method for treatment of pain, seizures, and inflammation in this population." 

  • Journal of Public Library of Science (2017): A study of New Mexico medical cannabis patients concluded that enrollment in the program was associated with 17 times higher age- and gender-adjusted odds of ceasing opioid prescriptions, 5 times higher odds of reducing daily prescription opioid dosages, and a 47 percentage point reduction in daily opioid dosages relative to a mean change of positive 10 percentage points in those patients not enrolled. Survey responses indicated improvements in pain reduction, quality of life, social life, activity levels, and concentration, and few side effects from using cannabis one year after enrollment.

  • Clinical Gasteroenterology and Hepatology (2013): “We studied 21 patients (mean age, 40 – 14 y; 13 men) with Crohn’s Disease who did not respond to therapy with steroids, immunomodulators, or anti–tumor necrosis factor-a agents.  Complete remission […] was achieved by 5 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (45%)... A clinical response […] was observed in 10 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (90%)... Three patients in the cannabis group were weaned from steroid dependency. Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects. […] short course (8 weeks) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 10 of 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects.”

  • British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2011): “Fifteen of the eighteen trials that met the inclusion criteria demonstrated a significant analgesic effect of cannabinoid [in non-cancer pain] as compared with placebo and several reported significant improvements in sleep. There were no serious adverse effects. […] Overall there is evidence that cannabinoids are safe and modestly effective in neuropathic pain with preliminary evidence of efficacy in fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.”

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