(HealthDay News) — For patients receiving pharmacotherapies for opioid use disorder (OUD), cannabis use is not associated with nonmedical opioid use, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online Jan. 16 in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

Gabriel P.A. Costa, from the University of Ribeirão Preto in Brazil, and colleagues examined the impact of cannabis use on the risk for nonmedical opioid use among individuals receiving pharmacotherapies for OUD. Ten studies, with 8,367 participants and an average follow-up time of 9.7 months, were included in the final meta-analysis.

The pharmacotherapies involved were methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (76.3, 21.3 and 2.4%, respectively). The researchers found that based on pooled odds ratios, cannabis use did not significantly influence nonmedical opioid use (odds ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.97 to 1.04; P = 0.98). Evidence of moderate heterogeneity and publication bias was observed.

“These findings neither confirm concerns about cannabis increasing nonmedical opioid use in individuals being treated for opioid use disorder, nor do they endorse its efficacy in reducing nonmedical opioid use,” Costa said in a statement.

One author disclosed ties to Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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