A study published in the recent issue of the journal Addiction Research and Theory has found that the majority of those who use medical cannabis do so to replace harmful substances such as alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs.
According to the study; “Over 41% state that they use cannabis as a substitute for alcohol, 36.1% use cannabis as a substitute for illicit substances, and 67.8% use cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs. The three main reasons cited for cannabis-related substitution are “less withdrawal” (67.7%), “fewer side-effects” (60.4%), and “better symptom management” suggesting that many patients may have already identified cannabis as an effective and potentially safer adjunct or alternative to their prescription drug regimen.”
It continues; “With 75.5% of respondents citing that they substitute cannabis for at least one other substance, and in consideration of the growing number of studies with similar findings and the credible biological mechanisms behind these results, randomized clinical trials on cannabis substitution for problematic substance use appear justified.”
The study, which used 404 medical cannabis patients in British Columbia, was conducted by researchers from the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, the University of California and the State University of New York.