Pa. patients swear by cannabis as a tool to fight opioid addiction. The research still isn’t there.

DFCR board member Dr. Peter Grinspoon is interviewed by Spotlight PA regarding cannabis as a tool to fight opioid addition.

Chris Braddock, a 37-year-old house painter from Washington County, said he struggled with opioid addiction for several years, going through periods of using traditional treatment options. But he said he couldn’t break a cycle of relapsing until he received approval for cannabis almost three years ago.

“I see how it works on me and people I know. I mean, that’s all the scientific evidence I need,” Braddock said. “I’m content. I’m happy. My life is good.”

Dr. Peter Grinspoon — an instructor at Harvard Medical School and a board member of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, a group that supports cannabis legalization for adults — said he’s heard a lot of anecdotal evidence like Braddock’s. But he said anecdotal evidence has its limits.

If a patient has a headache and wants to try marijuana, Grinspoon said, the worst-case scenario is the cannabis doesn’t work and their migraine sticks around.

“Then we try something else,” said Grinspoon, who has talked publicly about his own experience with opioid addiction and recovery.

But the risk of failure is higher when treating a potentially deadly condition. If a patient were to rely solely on cannabis to treat opioid use disorder, there’s a big fear: They could relapse, overdose on opioids, and die.

Read the full article at Spotlight PA.

Posted in DFCR, In the Media.