Giving Opioid Addicts Medical Marijuana to Treat Their Addiction is ‘Irresponsible,’ Says Addictions Expert

A lack of clinical trials is keeping some addictions experts from recommending medical marijuana as a potential treatment for opioid abusers.

Within the past year, the use of medical marijuana to help people overcome opioid addiction has risen in popularity. States like Illinois are even allowing patients to switch from using opioids to medical marijuana to treat conditions such as chronic pain and opioid use disorder. And while many advocates say medical marijuana can be an effective means of fighting opioid addictions, some experts believe “substituting cannabis for opioid addiction treatments is potentially harmful.”

“The conversation has generally assumed cannabis to be safer and as effective as opioids, but it isn’t clear what the truth is,” Dr. Richard Saitz – Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University’s School of Public Health – told Medscape Medical News.

Saitz – who was formerly the director of Boston Medical Center’s Clinical Addiction Research

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