Canadian Medical Cannabis Patients Report Using Less Alcohol
Does cannabis have the potential to combat alcohol use disorder?
New Research in Canada reveals that many of those in a study who reportedly have used medical cannabis also claim that they’ve noticed a decrease in their drinking.
The research was conducted by the Canadian Institute for Substance Abuse Research and the University of Victoria, School of Public Health and Social Policy. They talked to 1,000 medical cannabis patients in Canada and asked them about their habits, including their rates of alcohol consumption, and the results were positive for reducing alcohol use.
“Evidence details how cannabis can influence the use of other psychoactive substances, including prescription medications, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, but very little research has examined the factors associated with these changes in substance use patterns,” the study claims. “This paper explores the self-reported use of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol among a Canadian medical cannabis patient population.”
Of those polled, 44 percent claimed that they noticed a decrease in the frequency with which they consumed alcohol during the study, as they used medical cannabis. Eighty-five percent reported they reduced the number of drinks they consumed each week, and 18 percent claimed they refrained from consuming alcohol entirely during the study.
The data came from a sampling of 2,102 people who were a part of the Canadian medical cannabis program. Each person answered based on their medical cannabis use during the study and how it impacted their alcohol intake.
“We included 973 (44%) respondents who reported using alcohol on at least 10 occasions over a 12 month period prior to initiating medical cannabis, and then used retrospective data on the frequency and amount of alcohol use pre-and post medical cannabis initiation to determine which participant characteristics and other variables were associated with reductions and/or cessation of alcohol use,” the surveyors added.
Alcohol Use Disorder and Cannabis
According to Cannabis & Tech Today, as many as 107 million people in the world suffer from alcohol use disorder, a mental and physical addiction issue that’s quite common. Since so many people suffer from alcohol abuse, this is welcome news, as medical cannabis or cannabis use can help lessen alcohol use according to these findings.
Also, the World Health Organization reports that alcoholism causes the death of 3 million people a year across the world, quite a staggering number, and that cannabis is 114 times safer than alcohol, as it has proven not to be fatal. For all these reasons, these findings could be incredibly important.
“Our findings suggest that medical cannabis initiation may be associated with self-reported reductions and cessation of alcohol use among medical cannabis patients. Since alcohol is the most prevalent recreational substance in North America, and its use results in significant rates of criminality, morbidity and mortality, these findings may result in improved health outcomes for medical cannabis patients, as well as overall improvements in public health and safety,” the study’s authors claim.
This is just one study that analyzes the connection between medical cannabis and alcohol use, and it could lead to more research supporting cannabis as a way to stay away from alcohol.