Experts discuss how medicinal cannabis can impact opioid crisis

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discussed how medicinal cannabis can impact the opioid crisis, though clinical research to quantify this is difficult given strict federal laws. The expert roundtable, titled "Cannabis and the Opioid Crisis," is published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers . The article is available open access on theCannabis and Cannabinoid Research website.

Moderated by Daniele Piomelli, PhD, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the panel discussion covered the legal and financial barriers to understanding how cannabis can be used to alleviate chronic pain and potentially ease the opioid crisis, as well as how state laws allowing medicinal cannabis have impacted the communities most affected by opioid use. Participants included Susan Weiss, National Institute on Drug Abuse; Graham Boyd, New Approach PAC, ACLU Drug Law Reform Project; Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, BING Center for Health Economics, Drug Policy Research Center, Pardee RAND Graduate School; and Ziva Cooper, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center.

"Is medicinal cannabis helpful or detrimental in the current opioid crisis? This deceptively simple question has no answer yet. Setting a research agenda to answer it is both important and urgent," says Editor-in-Chief Daniele Piomelli, University of California-Irvine, School of Medicine.

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