Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2018 Jan - Feb;50:104-110. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2017.11.001. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Patterns and correlates of medical cannabis use for pain among patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy.

Author information

1
Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care, VA Portland Health Care System, United States; Mental Health and Clinical Neurosciences Division, VA Portland Health Care System, United States; Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, United States. Electronic address: Shannon.nugent@va.gov.
2
Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research, United States.
3
Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care, VA Portland Health Care System, United States; Mental Health and Clinical Neurosciences Division, VA Portland Health Care System, United States; Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, United States.
4
Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research, United States; Departments of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Health & Science University, United States; Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, United States.
5
Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research, United States; Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, United States.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Little is known about co-occurring long-term opioid therapy (LTOT) and medical cannabis use. We compared characteristics of patients prescribed LTOT who endorsed using medical cannabis for pain to patients who did not report cannabis use.

METHOD:

Participants (n=371) prescribed LTOT completed self-report measures about pain, substance use, and mental health.

RESULTS:

Eighteen percent of participants endorsed using medical cannabis for pain. No significant differences were detected on pain-related variables, depression, or anxiety between those who endorsed medical cannabis use and those who did not. Medical cannabis users had higher scores of risk for prescription opioid misuse (median=17.0 vs. 11.5, p<0.001), rates of hazardous alcohol use (25% vs. 16%, p<0.05), and rates of nicotine use (42% vs. 26%, p=0.01). Multivariable analyses indicated that medical cannabis use was significantly associated with risk of prescription opioid misuse (β=0.17, p=0.001), but not hazardous alcohol use (aOR=1.96, 95% CI=0.96-4.00, p=0.06) or nicotine use (aOR=1.61, 95% CI=0.90-2.88, p=0.11).

CONCLUSION:

There are potential risks associated with co-occurring LTOT and medical cannabis for pain. Study findings highlight the need for further clinical evaluation in this population. Future research is needed to examine the longitudinal impact of medical cannabis use on pain-related and substance use outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic pain; Long-term-opioid therapy; Medical cannabis; Prescription opioid misuse

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center