Marijuana as a cure for opioid use? Nation's top drug scientist says she's skeptical

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

marijuana in jars(USA Today, March 20) As opioid misuse continues to grip the nation, some states are allowing medical marijuana to be used as a treatment for opioid addiction.

However, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), says there is currently no scientific evidence for marijuana to be used in such a way.

"If you don’t treat it properly, your risk of dying is quite high," Volkow told USA TODAY. "My main concern is by basically misinforming potential patients about the supposedly beneficial effects of cannabis, they may forgo a treatment that is lifesaving."

NIDA is planning to conduct studies of cannabis ingredients to determine their effectiveness in treating opioid addiction.

"I’m not saying it’s not possible," Volkow said. "Like anything else, we do science in order to determine and provide the evidence of whether it’s effective or not." Read more.

 

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