Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Controlled Clinical Trial
, 90 (6), 844-51

Cannabinoid-opioid Interaction in Chronic Pain

Affiliations
Controlled Clinical Trial

Cannabinoid-opioid Interaction in Chronic Pain

D I Abrams et al. Clin Pharmacol Ther.

Abstract

Cannabinoids and opioids share several pharmacologic properties and may act synergistically. The potential pharmacokinetics and the safety of the combination in humans are unknown. We therefore undertook a study to answer these questions. Twenty-one individuals with chronic pain, on a regimen of twice-daily doses of sustained-release morphine or oxycodone were enrolled in the study and admitted for a 5-day inpatient stay. Participants were asked to inhale vaporized cannabis in the evening of day 1, three times a day on days 2-4, and in the morning of day 5. Blood sampling was performed at 12-h intervals on days 1 and 5. The extent of chronic pain was also assessed daily. Pharmacokinetic investigations revealed no significant change in the area under the plasma concentration-time curves for either morphine or oxycodone after exposure to cannabis. Pain was significantly decreased (average 27%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 9, 46) after the addition of vaporized cannabis. We therefore concluded that vaporized cannabis augments the analgesic effects of opioids without significantly altering plasma opioid levels. The combination may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer side effects.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 63 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

Feedback