Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Cannabis Legalization & Opioid Therapy Compliance

Am J Med; ePub 2018 Nov 10; Lo, et al

In patients treated with opioid therapy for chronic pain, the legalization of recreational cannabis does not affect compliance rate, a new study found. Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study on results from a “high-risk” urine drug testing panel. Results from 1 year before and 1 year after initiation of recreational cannabis legislation were analyzed. The testing panel included qualitative assays for cannabinoids and 9 other common drugs of abuse, in addition to a quantitative LC-MS/MS assay for 23 different opioids and metabolites. They found:

  • In the pre-legalization period, 1,776 panels were performed; 1,648 panels were performed post-legalization.
  • An increase in the rate of positive cannabinoid results was observed after legalization of recreational cannabis.
  • However, the overall compliance rate was consistent.


Lo SY, Winston-McPherson GN, Starosta AJ, et al. Cannabis legalization does not influence patient compliance with opioid therapy. [Published online ahead of print November 10, 2018]. Am J Med. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2018.11.002.

This Week's Must Reads

Androgen Deprivation Therapy & Risk of Depression, Cancer; ePub 2019 Feb 12; Deka, Rose, et al

QOL in Patients with Low-Risk PC Treated with HRT, JAMA Oncol; ePub 2019 Feb 14; Bruner, et al

Hospital Competition & Prostate Cancer Outcomes, Cancer; ePub 2019 Feb 1; Aggarwal, et al

Insurance Status & Stage of Prostate Ca Diagnosis, Cancer Epidemiol; 2019 Apr; Ramirez, Morano, et al

Agent Orange Exposure & Prostate Ca Outcomes, J Urol; ePub 2019 Jan 8; Etheridge, et al

Must Reads in Pain

Opioid-Related Mortality in US by Opioid Type, JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Feb 22; Kiang, et al

Disparities in the Prescription of Opioids, JAMA Intern Med; ePub 2019 Feb 11; Friedman, et al

Trends in Pain Prevalence in US Adults, J Pain; ePub 2019 Jan 15; Nahin, et al

Prescribed Opioids & Risk of CAP in Patients with HIV, JAMA Intern Med; 2019 Jan 7; Edelman, et al

Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths in the US, MMWR; 2019 Jan 4; Scholl, Seth, et al