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U.S. FDA greenlights clinical trial focused on treating opioid addiction with CBD

Jan 6, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

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The clinical trial “is a key milestone for our ongoing research into therapeutic alternatives for opioid use disorder and reversal of the effects of the opioid epidemic.”

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a clinical trial for a cannabidiol (CBD)-based drug to treat opioid use disorder.

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The trial will be led by UCLA professors Edythe London and Richard De La Garza II. In a statement, London said the “clinical trial is a key milestone for our ongoing research into therapeutic alternatives for opioid use disorder and reversal of the effects of the opioid epidemic.”

A study published last year in the journal Applied Health Economics and Health Policy  found that cannabis legalization has led to a “marked decline” in the volume of opioids prescribed across Canada.

The study tracked total opioid prescribing volumes and expenditures prior to and following cannabis legalization by sifting through national prescription claims data from private and public payers between January 2016 and June 2019.

Researchers found that, following legalization, total monthly opioid spending by public payers fell from $267,000 per month to $95,000. They also discovered the average dose declined from 22.3 milligrams per claim to 4.1 mg.

A 2019 study published in The Journal of Pain  also found that cannabis use led to a 64 per cent decline in opioid use among patients with chronic pain. And a 2021 study published in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care tracked the effects of using medical cannabis to treat chronic pain among 68 Israeli patients and found that, six months after initiating medical cannabis treatment, patients filled fewer opioid prescriptions.

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