People continue to die of opioid overdose at a horrifying rate, and there is a nationwide agreement on the pressing need to expand access to life-saving treatments.
An increasingly common question has been whether marijuana constitutes such treatment. Some states have been reviewing petitions to allow medical marijuana as a treatment for opioid addiction, including the state of Connecticut.
But what do we know about using marijuana to treat opioid addiction?
Opioid addiction is baffling because it doesn’t respond well to many treatments that seem intuitive. However, it does respond to agonist treatment with buprenorphine and methadone, and to injectable naltrexone.
Given what we know about opioid use disorder and the treatments that work for it, it is not clear how marijuana would exert its therapeutic effects.
Some posit that its possible analgesic properties would lower opioid use. Yet, pain is not a symptom of opioid addiction,