The growing opioid addiction epidemic has many researchers investigating the potential of cannabis, a.k.a. marijuana, as an alternative treatment. Cannabidiol, one of the active cannabinoids identified in cannabis, is the focus of research reviewed in an article published in Trends in Neuroscience. Lead researchers indicate that cannabidiol has a low risk for diversion and retains a safe profile when combined with a strong opioid agonist. However, they emphasize that early marijuana use is associated with a risk of opioid use later in life and that any cannabidiol benefits would apply solely to people who are already addicted to opioids. The authors call for more research to better understand the potential value of cannabidiol in treating opioid addiction.
Trends in Neurosciences: Cannabidiol, Swinging the Marijuana Pendulum from ‘Weed’ to Medication to Treat the Opioid Epidemic (02/2017)
Medscape Medical News: Psychiatry (access free with site registration)