Operation Opioid Reduction

A  Toolkit for Pharmacies Committed to 
Fighting the Opioid Epidemic with Cannabinoids

One of the biggest public health crises facing America is substance-use disorders. Resulting in nearly 48,000 deaths a year - more deadly than gun violence - opioid use is one of the most troublesome.  

The consequences are profound, impacting individuals and families no matter where they live, how much they earn, or how old they are. And the impact is broad, affecting social services, the health care system, communities, and the economy.

It is a crisis needing a solution and the independent pharmacies recommending full-spectrum hemp extract products are in a unique position to greatly impact the epidemic.

Operation Opioid Reduction is a resource dedicated to informing and supporting pharmacies with the goal to help patients explore how to manage and relieve pain with cannabinoids.


People in the U.S. will die TODAY due to opioid-related overdoses


Opioid Prescriptions will be filled today in the U.S.

214 Million

Prescriptions were written in 2016 by health care providers across the U.S — a rate of 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people. 

> 40%

of all US opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid.


  • Boehnke Study: adding cannabinoids, such as CBD, reduces opioid use by at least 60%
  • Reiman Study: 80% of patients feel cannabinoids relieve their pain better than opioids

  • States with Medical Cannabis Laws: 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared to states without medical cannabis access (JAMA)

  • Michigan: a retrospective survey revealed a 64% decrease in opioid use, a decrease in side effects, and an overall improved quality of life in those who used cannabinoids (Boehnke)

  • California: a survey of 2,897 revealed that 97% of opioid users reported that they “strongly agreed/agreed” that cannabinoids reduced their opioid use (Reiman)

CBD for Opioid Reduction at the Maine Medical Center with 1,500 Opioid Users
Patients using opioids for chronic pain saw a reduction in:

  • Opioids: 76.7%
  • Anxiety meds: 71.8%
  • Depression  meds: 37%
  • Sleep meds: 65.2%
  • Migraine meds: 66.7
  • Alcohol: 42%
  • Safety and Withdraw

    • Safety Study: CBD will not increase risk of respiratory depression or cardiovascular complications

    • Withdrawal Study: CBD reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms, helping reduce patients’ narcotic use and your narcotic dispensing


    Pharmacists are opioids’ gatekeepers and stand between the patient and pain relief. Pharmacists, according to Wilson M. Compton, MD, MPE, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health, are in an advantageous position to help reduce the availability of prescription opioids. Being involved in the “frontlines of co-prescribing” positions pharmacists to engage in a collaborative care approach with the prescribing physician and the patient.

    Multiple national pharmacy organizations have advocated for the pharmacists' role in the opioid crisis. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) states, “Pharmacists have the unique knowledge, skills and responsibilities for assuming an important role in substance abuse prevention, education, and assistance. Pharmacists, as health care providers, should be actively involved in reducing the negative effects that substance abuse has on society, health systems and the pharmacy profession.”


    By recommending Ananda Professional as an alternative to opioids, not only are you helping your patients receive the best care possible, each time you add a CBD product to an opioid you increase your profits... without the headaches of insurance. By simply focusing on adding CBD to pain protocol, you may have 300 patients on this regimen in one month. And, they will stay on it because it works on their pain, and you will significantly increase your profitability.

    Consider how many opioid prescriptions you fill a day. For most pharmacies, it is 15 or more. Each patient on an opioid should have a cannabinoid (CBD) added to their opioid regimen. In fact, studies show that 80% of patients feel cannabinoids relieve their pain better than opioids (Reiman Study). And since CBD does not interact with opioids, you can easily add CBD to the pain treatment plan.


    There are many resources to help pharmacists

    engage with and educate patients and prescribers about prescription opioids.

    • Distribute a bagstuffer to every patient (view templates) and use this talk track to start the conversation.

    • Encourage the pharmacist to write CBD on every opioid bag to remind the cashier to say “Our pharmacist recommends adding CBD to your regimen. Are you familiar with this product?”

    • Run a report for patients on certain opioid medications and call them personally to say you have a recommendation that is safer for them and many of your patients are experiencing great results.
    • Send a text message to your opioid patients with the recommendation.

    • Schedule an appointment with local prescribers and educate local physicians on the benefits of CBD, especially in regard to opioids. Use this research!

    • Important! Since many pain doctors require drug testing, be sure to discuss the potential for a false-positive for THC when using Ananda Professional. Train your team with these talking points and provide a letter to your patients from our Medical Director that they can proactively share with their employers and prescribers. 

    • Looking for a deeper dive educationally? Attend an In-Service. Our experts dive deep into the clinical, retail business and product training aspects of Ananda Professional.



    • Allied Against Opioid Abuse Pharmacy Toolkit (view)

    • Digital Postcard from the Surgeon General (download)

    • Tips for the Safe Use, Storage and Disposal of Prescription Opioids - this downloadable patient handout also includes a sign for your pharmacy. After you counsel patients who are picking up an opioid prescription, give them a handout to take home – and make sure it's posted by the checkout counter, too.
    • Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Spotlight on Opioids (website)

    • Pharmacists on the Front Lines: Addressing prescription Opioid Abuse and Overdose - this downloadable tip sheet can help pharmacists spot red flags in patients and suggests specific questions and conversation-starters about opioid abuse.

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