medical cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs: a dispensary-based survey
The use of medical cannabis has been gaining increasing attention in recent years, and research has suggested that it may be a useful tool in the treatment of a variety of conditions. A recent article published in Addiction Research & Theory examined the subjective impact of medical cannabis on the use of other substances, including both licit and illicit drugs through a survey of 404 medical patients from four dispensaries in British Columbia, Canada.
The survey found that over 41% of participants reported using cannabis as a substitute for alcohol, while 36.1% used it as a substitute for illicit substances. In addition, 67.8% of participants reported using cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs.
The main reasons cited for substituting cannabis for these other substances included “less withdrawal” (67.7%), “fewer side-effects” (60.4%), and “better symptom management.” This suggests that many patients may have already identified cannabis as an effective and potentially safer alternative to their prescription drug regimen.
These findings highlight the potential of medical cannabis as a harm reduction tool. By providing patients with a safer and more effective alternative to alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription medications, medical cannabis may help to reduce the harms associated with these substances and improve the overall health and well-being of patients.
It is important to note that medical cannabis should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Patients should also be aware of the potential risks and side effects of medical cannabis, and should discuss these with their healthcare provider before starting treatment.
In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that medical cannabis may be an effective harm reduction tool, with many patients reporting that they use it as a substitute for alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription medications. As healthcare providers, it is important to consider the potential of medical cannabis in reducing the harms associated with these substances and improving the overall health and well-being of our patients.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here are those of the author and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare practitioner.