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Tuesday, October 02, 2018


Thank you for highlighting this important article. My 2-cents: Olfson study is based on a prospective sample, an important design feature that is in contrast to prior correlational studies which suggested medical marijuana states are experiencing less opioid abuse problems (e.g., Bachbuber et al., 2014). It is way too early to claim that legalizing medical marijuana will make a dent in our opioid crisis.

Interested readers may also find this study from Australia of value (similar results as the Olfson study):

Campbell, G., Hall, W. D., Peacock, A., Lintzeris, N., Bruno, R., Larance, B., ... & Blyth, F. (2018). Effect of cannabis use in people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed opioids: findings from a 4-year prospective cohort study. The Lancet Public Health, 3(7), e341-e350.

Hi Dr. Winters,

Thank you for your comment, and for mentioning the power of prospective data. Studies like Bachbuber et al., 2014 are interesting, but can easily be interpreted by the general public as promoting marijuana as a "miracle cure", especially when reported by a secondary source. We hope our reviews promote scientific literacy and prevent such misunderstanding.

James Juviler

Cannabis is a great pain reliever. I use it for my migraine attacks. It's all worth it!

Opioid use and cannabis use are two different matters. But of course, opioids provide higher side effects but you should also be careful depending on cannabis too much. Nice research!

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