A new study funded by the National Institute for Health and published this month in the American Journal of Addiction has found that those who consume cannabis during opiate withdrawal experience less severe withdrawal symptoms.
The method researchers used is as follows; “To examine this, patterns of cannabis use prior to and during methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) were examined to assess possible cannabis-related effects on MMT, particularly during methadone stabilization. Retrospective chart analysis was used to examine outpatient records of patients undergoing MMT (n = 91), focusing specifically on past and present cannabis use and its association with opiate abstinence, methadone dose stabilization, and treatment compliance.”
Researchers conclude that; “These results suggested a potential role for cannabis in the reduction of withdrawal severity during methadone induction”, and that these findings “may point to novel interventions to be employed during treatment for opiate dependence that specifically target cannabinoid–opioid system interactions.”
In addition to finding that it helps against withdrawal symptoms, researchers found that opiate-consumers who also used cannabis spent less money on opiates than those who didn’t (cannabis consumers spent $85 a day on average, whereas non-consumers spent over $120).
More research is needed, but this study makes it clear that cannabis has strong potential as a medicine to help wean people off of harder, more dangerous substances.