Cannabis Legalization & Opioid Overdose

Cannabis Legalization & Opioid Overdose

Opioids leave much to be desired in medical treatment. They are highly addictive, very lethal, and not all that effective for treating chronic pain.
Orange pill bottles and spilled white pills

Opioids leave much to be desired in medical treatment. They are highly addictive, very lethal, and not all that effective for treating chronic pain. Cannabis, particularly THC, is promising for its opiate-sparing properties: preclinical work indicates that cannabis synergizes with the painkilling effects of opioids and reduces the development of tolerance (perhaps because of this synergy) but does not increase opioid-induced respiratory depression which leads to death. Moreover, states that legalize cannabis see a decrease in opioid prescriptions. A collaboration between epidemiologists at universities in the southern United States recently added to this consensus. They examined the rates of opioid overdose deaths in Colorado from 2000-2015. There was a steady increase of opioid deaths from 2000 through 2014, but after the legalizing the sale and use of cannabis, this trend appeared to reverse. The authors’ analysis suggests a decrease of 0.7 deaths in the state per month (i.e. 8-9 fewer opioid-related deaths per year) may be attributable to the legalization of cannabis in Colorado. This amounts to a 6% reduction in opioid deaths in the two years following legalization.

Find CBD near you

Browse hundreds of retail locations for quality CBD products.

Search

News & Reports

illustrations f 4 women
Project CBD honors the huge contributions of women leaders in the burgeoning field of cannabinoid research.

Top Conditions

In compiling a list of conditions that CBD may help, we examined hundreds of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals.

Cannabis Conversations

Expert cannabis botanist and geneticist Ryan Lee talks to Project CBD about breeding cannabis, THC & CBD content, and how to interpret lab data.
Project CBD speaks with Dr. Rachel Knox about "endocannabinology," THC/CBD synergies, and whole food nutrition.
Ethan Russo, MD, speaks with Project CBD about CBG, cannabinoid acids, and the global CBD phenomenon.

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters:

Top Stories