New Study Shows Cannabis Enhances Effectiveness of Opioid Pain Treatment | Marijuana

New Study Shows Cannabis Enhances Effectiveness of Opioid Pain Treatment


Often, the argument for medical marijuana over opioid painkillers is presented as “this or that,” but a new study shows cannabis could be used to supplement prescription painkillers to make treatment more effective and avoid issuing higher doses of addictive opioids.

According to the research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, clinical trial data showed that when cannabis was administered alongside “sub-therapeutic doses” of oxycodone, the two worked synergistically to relieve the patient’s pain as effectively as a higher dose of strictly oxycodone.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted by a team of researchers from the United States and Australia. Subjects were divided into three groups. One was administered inhaled cannabis, the other low-dose oxycodone and the third received both. Researchers examined their response over the course of treatment.

The study showed that neither the low-dose oxycodone nor the smoked cannabis subsided the subjects’ pain alone, but the combination of the two proved effective.

“Both active cannabis and a low dose of oxycodone (2.5 mg) were sub-therapeutic, failing to elicit analgesia on their own,” said the study. “However, when administered together, pain responses … were significantly reduced, pointing to the opioid-sparing effects of cannabis.”

“Smoked cannabis combined with an ineffective analgesic dose of oxycodone produced analgesia comparable to an effective opioid analgesic dose.”

A similar study conducted in 2011 found similar results with vaporized cannabis. That study shows states with legalized medical marijuana have seen a reduction in not only fatal overdoses but painkiller prescriptions overall.

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Used to write about music for XXL, Elevator, Complex, Genius, and a few other outlets. Follow @LongLiveTheDuke on Twitter if you'd like to read way fewer words by me.


  1. I have used cannabis and Vicodin together for tooth pain, it does work to make the relief last longer and is more effective.

  2. Im a 2 time cancer survicor and my last 9 month round of kemo and radition treament killed the cancer cells but left alot of damage to my body therefore i now live w chronic pain…my question is:what r the side effects to the cannibis..and what form cannibis r u smoke it,pill form …….
    Thanx for taking my question,
    Karen E.

    • Linda Johnson on

      I find edibles (gummies) along with my lower dose OxyContin help ease my pain much better than taking a higher dose of the OxyContin alone. I can’t smoke pot because of my asthma but I have found that the edibles that are available really help. Not only for pain management but also to help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes from my pain.

      I hope this helps

    • I’m sorry to hear about your damaging illness. Cannabis is an excellent place to look if you want to save your liver, reduce pain meds and be able to function daily with pain!!! I recommend you get your medical card and utilize the knowledge of the clinicians at the dispensaries to dial in what form, strain, etc… will help with your symptoms! I should know… I’m going thru it right now as a med user and it took months to find what works for me! Good luck!!

  3. I was having intense back pain. I was taking six 10mg Percocet a day plus two muscle relaxer and a nerve pain drug. Things got so bad that I was in the doctors office getting shots of morphine on top and I was still in excruciating pain. I finally got my license and ate a small amount of a edible and it was like a miracle. I no longer take any narcotics or meds for my back

  4. I paid for the med marij card online but it doesnt give any info as to when i will recieve the card or even how it will come to me (unless i missed that part) u get it in the mail or do i need to print something out from my puter..etc
    If it comes in mail approx how long will that take..hoping someone can tell me this…very anxious to begin using this new idea to control my pain cause i cant even imagine it working but im hopeful since it has helped so many people already.
    Thank u to everyone who has replied to my many questions,
    Karen E. (again)

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