This article begins to report on an aspect of the relationship between cannabis and opioid use, in particular the effect of cannabis on attempts to treat opioid abuse using Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). In passing it notes that marijuana use disorder is “the second leading reason patients enter addiction treatment.”
More to the point, it summarizes a study based on medical records from 58 clinics utilizing MAT. The study looked at the effect of baseline cannabis use and heavy cannabis use on opioid treatment retention and found “that both groups were at increased risk of treatment dropout (38.9% and 48.1%, respectively).”
The results make it clear that in addition to needing more long term studies on the effects of MAT, studies should also look at possible drug interactions. Additionally, given the liberalization of marijuana laws and a more widespread perception that marijuana is not harmful, additional education about marijuana may be needed for those entering opioid treatment.