Cannabinoids offer alternatives to opioids for pain relief, experts say

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 07 November 2017)Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5140

The BMJAlternatives to opioids can be used alone or in combination with opioids for pain relief, to help prevent medical exposure to narcotics being an entry point to misuse, said experts at a medical education forum in Washington, DC on 3 November.

Endocannabinoid compounds found in marijuana can greatly enhance the potency of opioids in relieving pain. The synergy from using these drugs together can result in more effective pain relief from lower doses of opioids, explained Donald Abrams, an oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who conducted some of the US’s first clinical research on …

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