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Latest news and updates about the Medicare and pharmacy industries.

November 22: Study Suggests CBD May Reduce Opioid Use

Posted on in Industry Updates by Amplicare Team

Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week.

Editor’s Note: The Weekly Roundup will take a break next week to observe Thanksgiving. Have a happy holiday!

The Story

CBD may reduce or eliminate opioid use and improve quality of life, a new study suggests. Published in the Journal of Postgraduate Medical and Hospital Practice, the study on hemp-derived CBD was conducted over an eight-week period by Ecofibre’s Ananda Health division. (Full disclosure: Ananda Professional is an Amplicare partner.) 

Why It Matters

Ninety-seven patients who had been using opioids to manage chronic pain for over a year participated in the study. Of this group, 94 added Ananda full spectrum hemp extract to their treatment routing. After eight weeks, 53% reduced their use of opioids and 94% noted improvements in quality of life metrics such as sleep, pain, and mood. 

According to Dr. Alex Capano, Chief Science Officer at Ananda Health, this has been the largest study (outside of survey studies) on using CBD to reduce the use of opioids to treat chronic pain. Also notable is the fact that the results include important data on hemp extract doses, delivery methods, and specific cannabinoid content. 

The benefits of CBD have long been debated, even as its popularity has increased. Studies like Ananda Health’s are helping to provide some context to back up claims about the use of CBD. Another similar study, published earlier this year in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggested that CBD could be an effective treatment for heroin addiction and anxiety.

The growing interest in CBD among U.S. adults is creating an interesting opportunity for pharmacists to provide guidance to patients who may be interested in these products. In 2017, the market was valued at over $9 billion and is projected to hit $16 billion by 2025. In addition to patient guidance, some pharmacists have found CBD to be a viable source of OTC revenue

Other Healthcare News to Know

  1. Pillpack, the internet pharmacy acquired by Amazon last year, is updating its logo to “Pillpack by Amazon Pharmacy”. CNBC.
  2. Vertex’s gene editing therapy shows potential for treating hereditary diseases. BioPharma Dive. 
  3. According to a U.S. government study, mailing free home HIV tests helps detect more infections than usual care. AP News.
  4. Senators are pushing for the creation of a federal agency to monitor drug prices. CNN.
  5. The House Judiciary Committee approved a landmark bill legalizing marijuana at the federal level. CNBC.

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