The Journal of the American Medical Association has scooped O’Shaughnessy’s with an article entitled “Opioids Out, Cannabis in,” published November 1. Our upcoming issue features Dustin Sulak on the opioid epidemic. Fortunately —or unfortunately— we have an angle JAMA doesn’t.

The piece in JAMA by Esther K. Choo and colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University concludes with what may a first in the medical literature —a warning to physicians impressed by the pain-reducing ability of cannabis not to overprescribe it! 

The prescribing of opioid therapy for chronic noncancer pain advanced unchecked until opioid related adverse events and other consequences reached epic proportions. To ensure the medical community does not repeat this mistake with cannabis, physicians should balance the need to keep pace with the swiftly evolving cultural, social, and legal climate surrounding cannabis use for pain with the imperative to guide practice with sound science.

Kudos to Choo et al and the editors for using “Cannabis” rather than “Cannabinoids” in their title.

Also in the new issue of JAMA:

“Monitoring Marijuana Use in the United States.”

“Buprenorphine Implants (Probuphine) for Opioid Dependence”

“As Opioid Epidemic rages, Complementary Health Approaches to Pain Gain Traction.” (Acupuncture, Massage therapy, Osteopathic maniuplation, Relaxation techniques, spinal maniuplations, tai chi, and yoga “may help some patients manage certain painful conditions.”)