Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Joseph W. Ditre
chronic pain, marijuana, medical cannabis, prescription opioids
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Medical cannabis is increasingly used as a treatment for chronic pain, and there is initial evidence that medical cannabis may lead to a subsequent decrease in prescription opioid use. The objective of the current study was to conduct a retrospective, naturalistic examination of medical cannabis use (i.e., dose, frequency, type) and subsequent changes in prescription opioid use among a sample of treatment-seeking chronic (non-cancer-related) pain patients (N =277). Data from the electronic medical record (EMR) was paired with information from the State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and collected at time of initial certification and at six months post-certification. Results indicated that 91% of patients used their certification to buy medical cannabis at least once within the first six months. Heterogeneity in purchase patterns was observed (range of total doses purchased = 5 to 417, mean = 64.5, SD = 67). High THC:low CBD and vaporization-based products were the most common formulations purchased. A total of 37% of all patients who purchased medical cannabis at least once evinced a clinically significant reduction (i.e., ≥ 30% MME) in prescription opioid use by six months post-certification.
Kosiba, Jesse, "MEDICAL CANNABIS USE AMONG CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS AND ASSOCIATIONS WITH PRESCRIPTION OPIOID USE: A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY" (2020). Dissertations - ALL. 1233.