Researchers examined cannabis use among heroin users over a 20-year period.
With cannabis marketing propaganda proliferating in the commercialized settings, it’s no wonder nearly 44% of US adults think marijuana is safer than tobacco.
People with heroin dependency don't use less of that drug if they start also using cannabis, according to a new study.
The findings cast some doubt on the idea that cannabis might help people reduce their dependence on opioids, experts say.
"Despite suggestions that cannabis may be used as a method for reducing opioid use, we found no evidence to suggest a relationship between the use of these [substances]," Dr. Jack Wilson, a researcher at The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney.
"Increasing the availability of cannabis is unlikely to have an impact one way or the other on the opioid crisis and overdose death rate," said Dr. Andrew Saxon, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and a member of the American Psychiatric Association's council on addiction psychiatry.
The study found that cannabis use was very common among those who were dependent on heroin. However, there wasn't a consistent relationship between the patterns of use of the two drugs, and no evidence to suggest that cannabis use reduced long-term opioid use.