Opioid Epidemic: Can Medical Marijuana Help?
How do cannabis and opioids work together? What are we seeing in the clinic and how can we explain what we’re seeing? Opioid and cannabinoid receptors are both present in pain areas of the brain. Receptors can be thought of as keyholes. And when the drug – the cannabinoid or the opioid – comes in, it fits into the receptor and it has some effect on the cell, changing its physiology. Opioid and cannabinoid receptors are also both present in other areas of the brain that have to do with addiction and behavior. We know that these receptors talk to each other. And researchers have found that administering opioids and cannabis together results in a greater-than-additive anti-pain effect.