The Risks of Mixing Cannabis with Opioids for Pain Relief

The Risks of Mixing Cannabis with Opioids for Pain Relief - SPLIFF

In recent years, the use of cannabis and especially opioids for managing pain has seen a visible rise. With this increase comes a curiosity to combine these substances for a better, long-lasting feeling, raising important questions about the risks and benefits of such a mix. ANR Clinic, an expert in opioid withdrawal treatment, believes it’s crucial to understand the implications of using cannabis in conjunction with opioids, especially for those seeking pain relief.

Cannabis Overview

Women medical scientist taking a look at some cannabis plants

Cannabis is made from the dry parts of the hemp plant, like leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds. It has a special ingredient called THC, along with other stuff. People often use oils or other forms made from the hemp plant too.

Socially, cannabis has been known to bring relaxation and enhance social bonding. Others have turned to it for spiritual practices or to experience an altered state of consciousness. This multifaceted use of cannabis dates back to ancient times, reflecting its diverse applications in human culture.

It is known to provide relief from: 

  • Chronic pain,
  • Inflammation,
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms of multiple Sclerosis 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD, etc.

Medical cannabis is getting more popular in health care. It helps a lot with chronic pain and it’s plant based, so its use is considered over synthetic drugs. Similar to other substances, overusing cannabis can also lead to serious side effects, such as:

  • lowered blood pressure
  • confusion
  • lightheadedness
  • rapid heartbeat
  • hallucinatory experiences
  • headaches, 
  • heightened hunger
  • nausea 
  • feelings of paranoia
  • vomiting.

Understanding Opioids in Pain Management

Opioids, a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy or synthesized in labs, are another cornerstone in pain management. 

Common opioids include:

  • Morphine
  • Codeine 
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl etc.

Opioids function by attaching to specific receptors in the brain, effectively blocking pain signals, which in turn diminishes the sensation of pain. Despite their potency and efficacy in pain management, opioids come with side effects, including withdrawal symptoms like:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Severe Anxiety
  • Craving
  • Breathing problems 
  • Insomnia
  • Itching 
  • Constipation 
  • Respiratory depression, etc

While taking opioids, careful management under medical supervision would be advised. Their use is typically reserved for moderate to severe pain, often in cases where other pain relievers have been ineffective.

Potential Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Opioids

Mixing cannabis with opioids can lead to aggravated side effects, such as heightened sedation, which can be vastly dangerous. There's also a significant risk of respiratory depression, a serious condition where breathing becomes incredibly slow and inefficient

Furthermore,the concurrent use of these substances may heighten the risk of dependency, given that both cannabis and opioids have habit-forming properties.

Hand of a men showing a cannabis leaf and some medication

Case Studies and Research Findings

Research on the interaction between cannabis and opioids is still evolving. Some studies suggest that cannabis might lower the needed opioid dosage, reducing the risk of dependency. 

On the other hand, there are also research findings that point to adverse interactions, especially in individuals with a past of substance abuse. This disparity in research outcomes underscores the necessity for more extensive studies to thoroughly comprehend the consequences of mixing these substances.

Safer Alternatives and Best Practices

Exploring cannabis as a potential route for pain relief, especially for those currently using opioid medications, requires a thoughtful consideration of safer alternatives. ANR Clinic encourages informed choices and emphasizes the importance of seeking professional advice, especially when considering cannabis alongside opioid medication. 

Their commitment to well-informed decision-making extends to those who may encounter opioid withdrawal symptoms. In such cases, their innovative ANR treatment stands as a beacon of hope, offering a novel and effective approach to address opioid dependence and manage withdrawal symptoms. 


Choosing to mix cannabis with opioids for pain relief is something to be thought about carefully. It's key to know what could happen and to talk to doctors for advice.

Pain management is about finding a personalized balance that suits your specific health needs. Having open conversations with healthcare providers is essential to counting the risks, benefits, and all factors involved.


Disclaimer * This information is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating health issues. Consult a licensed physician for personalized medical advice, and never delay seeking it based on this website’s information.

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