Data-driven drug development company Emyria has released new research indicating opioid use and pain decline in patients using medicinal cannabis over a consistent period, while quality of life scores improve.

The company measured opioid use over at least six months among more than 500 of its Emerald Clinic patients suffering from chronic non-cancer pain.

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It used the average oral morphine equivalent daily dose (OMEDD) method, which allows an ‘apples to apples’ comparison of different opioid medications by converting them into their morphine-equivalent dose strength.

The research showed that, on average, opioid consumption reduced after commencing care at Emerald Clinics from a previous 12-month steady-state of use.

It found a 34% reduction in patients using high volumes of opioids (90mg/day), a 33% drop in those whose opioid use was determined to be moderate (40-90mg/day) and a 25% drop for those using less than 40mg/day.

Patients also reported decreased pain severity and interference and improvements in psychological distress and quality of life.

The average age of the cohort was 60, with a 61%:39% female to male gender split. They underwent regular, in-depth assessments and reviews at Emerald Clinics to measure their progress.

Emyria managing director Dr Michael Winlo said the findings, supported by analysis of pharmacy dispensing data for Emyria patients, showed those referred to Emerald Clinics reported stable average daily opioid consumption up to 12 months prior to starting their care program.