Study provides insights on marijuana and opioid use in people with cancer

Washington: A new study has revealed that people suffering from cancer use Marijuana to get relief from the pain. And shockingly, it is been seen that people residing in the US, consume the maximum amount of the drug.
The study was published in the journal ‘Cancer’.

It is been noted that pain is a common symptom of cancer, and many patients affected with the disease do not receive adequate pain relief. In light of rapidly evolving marijuana legislation and a growing opioid epidemic, a team of researchers examined various trends in the self-disclosed use of marijuana and opioids among patients with cancer.

After analyzing data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2005 and 2014, the
investigators matched 826 people with cancer to 1,652 people without cancer.

Among survey respondents who had cancer, 40.3 per cent used marijuana within the past year, compared with 38.0 per cent of respondents without cancer. Also, people with cancer were more likely to use prescription opioids than their demographically equivalent counterparts without cancer (13.9 per cent versus 6.4 per cent).

“Prospective clinical trials are needed to quantify the efficacy of marijuana in cancer-specific pain as well as the risk of opioid misuse in this patient population,” said Dr Tringale, one of the lead researchers of the study.

When looking at rates of marijuana and opioid use in more than 19,000 survey respondents with and without cancer over 10 years, the researchers have significantly found increased use of the drug over time but, they found stable rates of opioid.

“Medical marijuana legalization has previously been associated with a reduction in hospitalizations related to opioid dependence or abuse, suggesting that if patients are in fact substituting marijuana for opioids, this may introduce an opportunity for reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality,” said one of the key researchers of the study.

He added, “Of course, it will also be important to identify risks and adverse effects of marijuana, which has not previously been studied on large randomized clinical trials, given its scheduling as a class 1 controlled substance.”