Are there any strains known to be effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms...when trying to reduce opioid intake?
Answer - Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD
Thia questions relates to a previous question relating to cannabis helping decrease vicodin use. Part of the answer is this:
Cannabis has had more and more positive feedback in people trying to cut down or eliminate their opioid use. Every day in the United States about 44 people die as result of opioid overdoses. There has never been a reported death from cannabis use. Donald Abrams, MD, a professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, has studied the effects of medical marijuana on pain since the mid-1990s. In 2011, he published a small study of 21 patients that found that the addition of marijuana to a twice-daily opioid regimen led to a 25 percent reduction in pain. It suggests cannabis could allow pain patients to lower their opioid dosage and still get pain relief.
It seems that patients can get short term pain relief from cannabis that contains only 1.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), the ingredient that gives marijuana its psychotropic effects. Pot used for recreational purposes has 6 to 12 percent THC, but can go as high as 20 percent. A higher concentration of cannabidiol (CBD) mixed with a little THC seems to be the best bet for decreasing opioid use. There is one called “20:1,” named for its ratio of CBD to THC. A 1:1 THC/CBD ratio might be best if the pain is effecting your sleep as well.
The fastest way to obtain relief is by smoking or vaping the cannabis product. Tinctures or capsules are effective as well as using an edible that can last the longest.
Answer - Nurse Practitioner, certified in Medical Cannabis
Symptoms of opioids withdrawal include nausea , muscle cramps, anxiety, depression, agitation, opioids cravings ( https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/opiate ) Although there are a number of opioid replacement therapies and maintenance medications to help ease the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms and aid in relapse prevention; however, these medications are not risk free nor are they successful for all patients. Cannabis has a good potential to help with these symptoms with no or minimal side effects . The endocannabinoid and opioidergic systems interact in many different ways. CB1 receptors and mu opioid receptors are distributed in many of the same areas in the brain, and they have cross-sensitization of their pharmacology (Wiese & Wilson-Poe). CB1 agonists readily alleviate somatic withdrawal symptoms such as escape jumps, diarrhea, weight loss, and paw tremors, and reduce the rewarding properties of opioids and prevents reinstatement of drug seeking (Wiese & Wilson-Poe). So, how in practice Cannabis can be use to help with the symptoms. CBD dominant oral product (oil) can promote long lasting "plateaou" effect, while inhaling medical cannabis with higher concentration of THC 1:1 ratio need to be used with crawing and breakthrough symptoms. Wiese, B., & Wilson-Poe, A. R. (2018). Emerging Evidence for Cannabis' Role in Opioid Use Disorder. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 179–189. doi:10.1089/can.2018.0022