Cannabis with opioids for pain control

Cannabis in the form of CBD (cannabinoid) for pain control has been established as a safe and effective way to manage ongoing moderate to severe pain. Opioids, on the other hand, are fraught with problems, but are dirt cheap. There is a mounting refusal by physicians to prescribe opioids to anyone also using cannabinoid. They claim this is “the law” and is “mainstream medicine.” Let me tell you why this is incorrect, unethical and unscientific.

My patient Alice was refused pain relievers

Alice is a 65 y/o widowed woman who came to me in 2017 with persistent back and hip pain following extensive scoliosis surgery with rids and screws[1] four years ago. She was taking 3 to 5 mg oxycodone (an opioid narcotic) twice daily only 3-4 days per week. After I met her she was able to completely discontinue oxycodone for approximately 4 months before she suffered a fracture in her low back from a fall at home. At that point she required oxycodone again as she sought a surgical consultation with the same doctor who had been prescribing her oxycodone liquid.

During the surgical consultation she revealed that she had found significant pain relief using a CBD patch (cannabis) over the painful area of her low back, applied every 4 days. She was then refused any more oxycodone for her pain because she was a “user” of marijuana for pain. She left the office in tears and came to me the next day.

She was told it is against the law for doctors to prescribe opioids to patients who urine test positive for “other drugs” such as marijuana (cannabis). Marijuana is legal here in California for both medicinal and recreational use.

The current opioid epidemic[2]

Just before the new millennium pharmaceutical companies reassured doctors that patients would not get addicted to opioid pain relievers. It wasn’t long before the controlling medical establishment increasingly encouraged opioid use and “chronic pain management specialists” began to emerge. I saw the problem coming.

I personally had uncontrolled Ulcerative Colitis for many years. In 1997 I recovered from an extensive (8 hour) abdominal surgery called Total Proctocolectomy with ilio-anal pull-through. I know first-hand how it feels to need strong opioid narcotics. Fortunately, I was able to taper off these to less-addictive pain relievers within just a few weeks. I was back in the office 3 weeks after my sur