Medical Cannabis: Is There Potential to Help Replace Opioids For Patients with Various Causes of
Non-Malignant Chronic Pain?
Dr. Terel Newton, MD, Florida Medical Director, Trulieve, Medical Director, Total Pain Relief, LLC and Interventional Pain Consultant
Since 1999, more than 900,000 people have died from drug overdoses and in 2020 nearly 75% of drug
overdose deaths involved an opioid. Due to the fatal risks associated with opioids more U.S. states are passing medical cannabis laws that allow cannabis to be used for pain treatment. Today, chronic pain continues to have significant impacts on individual patients and the public health at large, where it is reported to affect 50 million people, which is approximately 20% of the U.S. population.
A literature review was completed on pubmed.gov with the following key word searches. Of these, human
studies published within the past 3 years were given preference in order to provide the most up to date
information: “cannabis and opioids”, “marijuana and opioids”, “cannabis and opioid epidemic” and “cannabis and each of the following terms: neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and arthritis.
Medical cannabis has been shown to be effective in managing several types of pain, including neuropathic
pain, fibromyalgia, migraines and some types of arthritis pain. Studies have found that cannabis can help
reduce pain intensity and frequency, improve sleep, and enhance overall quality of life for patients with these conditions.
Medical cannabis holds promise as an effective treatment option for several types of pain, including
neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and arthritis pain. However, more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and risks, which combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes are most effective and at which doses. Patients who live in states where medical cannabis is available should review cannabis laws in their state and consult with their healthcare provider before using medical cannabis.
Dr. Terel Newton is a dedicated medical director and physician in the cannabis industry, known for his unwavering passion. He is a summa cum laude graduate of East Carolina University in the Department of Biology, with a concentration of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Genetics. He has completed extensive training at reputable institutions located in North Carolina, Vermont, Baltimore, Washington D.C, and Boston, in addition to attending cannabis conferences worldwide. Dr. Newton holds a board certification in Anesthesiology, is Fellowship-Trained in Interventional Pain procedures, and has earned certifications in Addiction Medicine, Medical Cannabis Recommending Physician, and Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Director.
Throughout his career, Dr. Newton has actively participated in over 100 events, including abstract submissions and reviews, continuing medical education courses, live and recorded conferences, webinars, TV interviews, dispensary tours, and clinic presentations. He is well-respected in the healthcare and medical cannabis industries as an advocate and educator for patients, providers, and support groups.
Currently, Dr. Newton serves as the Florida Medical Director for Trulieve, where he continues to advocate for the benefits of medical cannabis and promote awareness and education.