Marijuana & Opiates – Recent Study Shows a Link

March 29th, 2012 by Will Humble Leave a reply »

One of the missing ingredients in medical marijuana has been peer-reviewed science- but there is some out there. Studies are happening across the country to see how marijuana impacts and interacts with other drugs.  One small-scale study done by UC San Francisco recently suggests using marijuana with opiates allowed some patients to reduce the amount of opiates needed to manage their pain.  This was a small study done with only 21 patients – so it indicates more research needs to be done.  The paper was published this month in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Qualifying patients in the Arizona registry can receive information about studies like this through the program – when you sign up you can check a box to find out about the studies or we also post information on our website.



  1. anthony says:

    Please quit being pretentious and remove the quotations from medical marijuana. Your quotations still show you are using your personal feelings on the subject. Please remove your hatred for medical marijuana and start accepting it. As a crohns patient, i’d be dead without this medication. And if not dead id be in so much pain 100% of the day I would be wishing I was dead. Please please remove the pretentious quotations.

  2. anthony says:

    Please remove the quotations from medical. This shows your personal feelings on the subject. It is unethical to portray your personal feelings on it.

  3. chris says:

    I found this to be the case for myself…prior to medicinal cannabis my opiate intake just to get thru a day was 4-6 10mg norco, and now with cannabis, i take one a day, maybe…sometimes i make it thru the day without needing a pain killer (kinda depends how bad the day is) but cannabis is going to prolong my life because of lowering the opiate and other drugs intake

  4. Kelly says:

    I’m 25 years old and just last year won my battle against Stage 3 Germ Cell/Testicular Cancer. I had 4 surgeries, including one major 7-hour surgery called an RPLND where they removed 32 tumors from around my spine & main blood vessels. Because of these surgeries I have been left with neuropathy in part of my leg, and continue to have slight pain in my back from the surgery. I also have stomach issues occasionally where I don’t feel like I have much of an appetite. I used to have to take painkillers (Aspirin/Tylenol never helped), which lead me to have to also take stool softeners. Not to mention the fact of feeling intoxicated while on painkillers. Cannabis has been the only drug that can help universally w/o having to take anything else to counter-act any side effects. It also helped GREATLY during chemo & worked much better than the anti-nausea meds they prescribed. If more people knew about the actual medical benefits of Cannabis, maybe people would stop acting like this plant is going to destroy the world.

  5. Patient49302- says:

    As a Caregiver right here in PHX I can show you atleast 50 patients who use it to ease off opiates. You dont have to go to California for work getting done right here on the ground.

    • Matt says:

      It’s even harder to find out when your doctor fires you or refuses to write your precriptions if you are even the least bit interested in trying it.

  6. TJ Green says:


    Here is a list of hundreds of peer reviewed scientific journal articles on the effects of cannabis on a variety of symptoms, diseases, and disorders. This list is nearly 700 pages long. It even includes information of cannabis addiction and withdrawals, as well as several studies on Marinol. I’m just getting started on it. Best of luck:


  7. Warren says:

    Thanks, Mr. Humble, for contributing honestly to the discussion. If one digs deeper, problems with the extent of research into medicinal uses of cannabis become all too apparent. The feds have stacked the deck against permitting studies that might show therapeutic benefits. So, any time one sees a study like this one coming out of the US, it is almost a miracle. Thanks for helping to make the general public aware of this unusual publication.

  8. Dawn says:

    I was taking over 10 meds a day including high doses of morphine for chronic pain. I was able to STOP THEM ALL COLD TURKEY with NO WITHDRAWL SYMPTOMS because of medical cannabis! Of all the pharma I was taking, I am now only taking Premarin. I use medical cannabis to help my intense cramping in my legs (a few vapes stops it cold) and for pain and sleep. I am eating healthier, as I do not crave all the crap I was eating for YEARS. My hair and skin are much healthier. I was on the anti-wagon for 40 years but had to make a change – I was planning to take my life because the opiates were no longer working to help the pain. No more morphine, no more anti-depressant (and I no longer think about death as an option – and it ran through my mind DAILY,) no more muscle relaxants (two different types,) no more anti-emetics (two different types depending upon the situation,) no more sleeping pills, no more anti-anxiety drugs!

    Just a couple days ago I was able to spend about 6 hours on my feet walking through a huge expo. The anxiety alone has left me paralyed in the past. The pain would have been too much for me. However my use of medical cannabis has changed my life. My husband says I have been returned to him (after 15 years) and we are doing things I’d not dreamed about.

    I can no longer subscribe to the antiquated notion that this is not medically useful. It has changed my life and the lives of others in most beneficial ways. To continue to call it pot or “MEDICAL” (with quotes) is an insult to everything. People go to doctors, they use science in their health, but when it comes to scientific studies they counter with, “YOU JUST WANNA GET STONED.” Well, I’ve NEVER been stoned – and I have to use very high doses of cannabis for pain. I am prudent and won’t drive if I believe I could be impaired (I rarely drive and make sure I do NOT medicate if I will be doing such.)

    RESPONSIBILITY. COMMON SENSE. These two are no longer in the lexicon of the United States. We have de-evolved into cavemen again and constantly play the fear factor. MY KIDS COULD GET IT! As a mother of five kids, I’d RATHER they use that than drink or smoke or use other drugs. The studies I have read are amazing and I am outraged they are dismissed with a “FAKE!” The time has come to incorporate this into the lives of everyday Amercia (for every person EVERYWHERE) and allow people to get healthy again! With GMO foods in our lives (and no way to detect them) we need every tool for health we can get!

    And the fact the gov’t has a PATENT ON CANNABINOIDS should raise HUGE flags on their position. They only want the $$$$$ this will generate – Sativex, anyone? Look at the side effects! The only side effects I get are NO PAIN, NO ANXIETY, NO MUSCLE SPASMS, and GOOD SLEEP! Add the craving for fruits & veggies to that list and I AM SOLD.

    Keep your beliefs and morals out of my medicine and science! Or check out Granny Storm Crow’s list. Well over 600 pages this year – all LINKS to studies on different medical conditions helped by cannabis! READ UP! Your health and that of your family may depend upon this!

  9. CJ says:

    Just reviewed, again, the comments that have been approved for printing. All of them are pro-“medical” marijuana comments. Is that accidental or by design? My comment was rejected, yet I merely disagreed about removing the quotes around the word “medical.” In fact, there is no such thing as “medical” marijuana. The agency in charge of approving all medicines in this country is the FDA and they have placed marijuana in Schedule 1 because they have found it has no medical use. So, taking away the “quotes” suggests that ADHS has made a determination completely contrary to the FDA. So, if anything is “unethical” or untoward, it would be your taking away of the quotes around the word “medical.”

    • Keef Treez says:

      There was a popular phrase in the 60’s that adorned my bumper for years and continues to be the foundation of my world view. “Question Authority”. That means that the FDA is vested with this authority,yet to be a responsible citizen requires you to question them on occasion to maintain the relationship of vested authority and the citizens allowing it’s vestment. Your responsibility as a citizen of this federation is to maintain vigilance in overseeing the authority you have subscribed to this entity. If this entity has overstepped it’s authority in misapplying it’s scheduling on Cannabis, then you are deficient in your responsibilities as a citizen in allowing the FDA to maintain it’s authorized ban on cannabis as medicine unquestioned. If you are so comfortable in allowing Unquestioned Authority to dictate to you how you are allowed to medicate then maybe what you need is some old school communism. East Germany was a fantastic place for people who liked the comfort of the govt making decisions for them. Too bad they tore down the wall, as those authorities had a number reserved for subservient citizens like yourself.

    • Warren says:

      Actually, cannabis was placed in Schedule I by statute when the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970. The FDA had nothing to do with it. This was the work of politicians.

  10. Wayne says:

    I am 35 yr male, been on a LARGE dose of at least two diffrent opiat pain medications for almost 8 yrs and was told will be on for ever. Had my first back surgery done in 2005 they removed 2 disc hernations. only partilly helped remove the pain, the pressure was reliefed from the nerve but pain still persistent. Now getting read for my second disc fussion at the end of this month. I also have Type 1 Diabetes, (which should be listed as a qualifying condition- another subject for later) with diabetes comes loss of appitite, nausea, nerve pain- neuropathy etc. I say this so you may have some background as to the number of years I was on pain meds almost 10yrs, that use caused me to have heart problems low ejection fractions, low testosterone, liver damage etc. i was taking 20mgs opiate 6-8 times a day along with 2 breakthrough pain meds 2-3 times aday. Needless to say I was not living a qaulity of life worth living, spent most days and nights in bed. According to me endocronologist “the pain medications are killing your system”.
    with MEDICAL Marijuana I am currently off the strong opiate painkillers and only need 1 or 2 breakthrough meds a day on good days I only need the medical marijuana. I tell you this and am living proof. Anyone who wants my medical records for proof I will gladdy ablige. THIS IS A MIRAJLE PLANT IT HAS PROLONGED MY LIFE years, and restored me to a QAULITY of life WORTH LIVING.
    Thanks you for your time.

  11. Rich Landucci says:

    Unless I missed it, I have not received a reply from you that I have submitted 2 times. My question is….can a patient who is under the care of a pain management physician, including a “pain contract”, be able to receive medical marijuana in addition to the opiates they are currently prescribed? Of course this would be with the assumption that the patient qualifies to receive medical marijuana under the program’s rules.

    My physician has told me that any patient who is under the “rules”of a pain contract and is thus taking an opiate pain med cannot in addition even try medical marijuana. He claims that these are the rules set forth by the AZ Dept of Health Services. I called your office twice and was told by your representative’s that “I’m not quite sure but you can find out by going to our web site and looking in the rules section”.

    So, if anyone can give me a definitive answer I would really appreciate it. If, by using medical marijuana, I would be able to reduce, or completely discontinue any of the strong meds I’m taking, I would wager that my life might be prolonged, I would not suffer from the side effects from many of the meds, and my quality of life would be enhanced.

    Because of the random drug testing that I, and all the other “pain contract” patients must endure, I cannot even try marijuana on my own. I was told that I would have to completely discontinue all the prescribed pain meds that I am currently taking if I wanted to even try marijuana.

    From the previous comments I have just read, it appears that my opinion is shared by many other people who suffer through life with a variety of ailments.
    I would like to hear from the “rule makers” if my physician is right or is just receiving incorrect information from the state.

    Thanks to any, and all, who have taken the time to entertain my question.

    • Will Humble says:

      Our rules require a physician to do certain things in the certifying process. During that process if a physician decides not to move forward with a patient, our rules do not require a certification to be written. This is a matter for the patient and physician.

  12. Robbie says:

    Since Washington state law has passed the new law with marijuana as it change the rules on pain contracts? So many are confused as to what that means. Any consequences if someone has a medical card for it but is still on a pain contract.

  13. Jamie Lee says:

    Obviously you already know 99.9% of what you need to know about cannabis and how it affects you. But what you need to know is you can recover to a clean drug free body. Cannabis makes many alterations to your body actually depending on what your body needs.
    THC like opiates send a signal to the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) which tells the brain you have pain or problems somewhere in your body (true or not) and sends the neurotransmissions to the affected site without effecting the site therefore healing without damages. (knifes and sutures and bacteria from poorly washed surgical equip) The problem is when you have no ailments or overdose you often become (couch locked, or fall asleap) because your brain is sending off signals which your body is confused what to do with so the transmission returns the signals back to the brain often overloading the RVM. So although daily doses may be desired you may be confusing your brain on what to do when you have a real trauma location.
    So although I said it heals w/o damages, prolonged use may stop the body from actually sending correct transmissions to real trauma locations. So although you can now walk through wallyworld w/o killing people doesn’t mean you won’t pass out hit your head and bleed to death… but really theres always an apocalypse you could be worried about…. IMO do what you want if it makes you happy, just don’t be foolish enough to think you cant die from prolonged cannabis use.
    I have been a cannabis user for 15 years, started as a recreation hobby, turned out I needed it for something that I did not know at the time, anxiety. I really wanted to post here to let the readers know my findings.
    PS. anxiety is controlled, eating and sleeping helps when I need it, but in the long run… Cannabis is my “vice” just like Alcohol, Caffeine or Nicotine. I am working on a cleaner body, and I don’t know, I am tired of being controlled by my vices. Did you know a banana can produce as much good energy as you need to (eat, sleep, or clean the house)

  14. Jamie Lee says:

    I would like to amend my last comment with this link as well.

    Thank you admin. :)

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