In a study with 880 chronic pain patients treated at several centres in Israel those, who received prescription opioids had higher rates of depression and anxiety than those treated with cannabis. Of all participants 474 received opioids, 329 cannabis and 77 both opioids and cannabis. Depression and anxiety were assessed using the depression module of the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale.
Prevalence of depression among patients in the opioid group was 57.1%, in the cannabis group 22.3% and in those receiving both medications 51.4%. Rates of anxiety were 48.4%, 21.5% and 38.7%, respectively. Authors concluded: “levels of depression and anxiety are higher among chronic pain patients receiving prescription opioids compared to those receiving MM [medical marijuana]. Findings should be taken into consideration when deciding on the most appropriate treatment modality for chronic pain, particularly among those at risk for depression and anxiety.”
Source: IACM Bulletin