Cannabis ‘reasonable’ to try for chronic pain before resorting to opioids

Physicians can consider cannabis before opioids for chronic pain when other options have been exhausted, according to a speaker at the Congress of Clinical Rheumatology East. Jason W. Busse, DC, PhD, suggested that non-opioid and non-cannabis approaches should be optimized first, but if patients do not achieve satisfactory results, a trial of oral cannabis products can be considered before opioids. Busse outlined findings from panels investigating the uses of opioids and cannabis for chronic pain, suggesting that benefits might be similar between the two, but harms could be greater with opioids. He emphasized that both opioids and cannabis are not first-line care but may offer benefits for some patients.

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