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August 15, 2023 0 Comments

Cannabis and Opioid Addiction… What the Survey Says

Cannabis and opioid addiction has been the focus of many patient polls back to when marijuana first started to be legalized in the United States. Surveys have emerged regarding how patients have responded to the addition of marijuana. Among the most important are the surveys of patients who were taking opioids when they added marijuana to their treatment and how they were able to then eliminate or reduce the use of opioids. The Healing Clinics recently conducted a survey of their renewing patients and the results are astounding. This article explores those results along with other surveys and polls.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a group of prescription pharmaceuticals that are typically prescribed to reduce pain. Names of more common opioids include Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, and generic names including morphine, heroin, codeine, and fentanyl.

Opioids can be dangerous to patients who need them for long-term use. These narcotics can cause users to develop a tolerance, meaning they need higher and more frequent doses to achieve the same effect. Opioids can also cause dependence with regular and persistent use, causing neurons to adapt so they only function normally in the presence of the drug. Without opioids, patients may require medical intervention to stop using them. Possibly the worst side effect of opioids is addiction, a chronic disease characterized by compulsive or uncontrollable drug-seeking use despite knowledge of the harmful consequences.

According to the National Institutes of Health, in data published in April of 2023, three million U.S. citizens and 16 million people worldwide suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD).

The Healing Clinics Patient Survey

The Healing Clinics conducted of a survey of more than 1,000 patients who indicated they were taking prescription opioids and were renewing their recommendations after adding medical marijuana to their treatment. Of those surveyed, 55% had eliminated dependence on opioids and 29% had reduced their daily dose by adding medical marijuana to their treatment regimen. In addition, 38% reported reduced use of medications for ADHD and benzodiazepines (also called Valium, Xanex, Klonopin, Librium, Clobazam, Dalmane, Flurazepam, Clorazepate, Lorazepam, Clonazepam, Temazepam, Estazolam, Midazolam, Halcion, Triazolam, and Ativan).

Other Surveys and Studies

Opioids without a prescription

Researchers at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use and UCLA surveyed 205 people who use cannabis and opioids without a prescription from December 2019 to November 2021, aiming to test the theory that marijuana represents an effective harm-reduction tool amid the overdose crisis.

The study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, found that 58 percent of participants reported that their motivation to use marijuana was to reduce opioid cravings. And a multivariable analysis showed that cannabis use “was significantly associated with self-reported reductions in opioid use.”

Opioids with a Prescription

The Tilray Observational Patient Study took place at 21 medical clinics throughout Canada. This analysis included 1,145 patients who had at least one postbaseline visit, with follow-up at one, three, and six months. Instruments included a comprehensive cannabis use inventory, the World Health Organization Quality of Life Short Form (WHOQOL-BREF), and a detailed prescription drug questionnaire. This study revealed that subjects significantly reduced the use of prescription opioids and were able to subsequently improve their quality of life with the addition of marijuana.


Ongoing research will be necessary in proving the psychological and physiological effects of marijuana on a host of conditions that are currently being treated with prescription medications. However, patient feedback and anecdotal evidence concerning the success of users is undeniable as these surveys and polls clearly show.

If you’re interested in finding out more or you’re ready to get started on your journey with medical marijuana, click the button below.