With a variety of substances and medications competing for people’s attention, there’s no wonder addiction is so widespread.
Whether it’s to alcohol, pills prescribed by the doctor, or street drugs, it’s often easier to unplug through a chemical buffer than to face the music. However, perhaps a bit counter-intuitively, cannabis therapy may actually be part of the solution to solving the addiction crisis.
No work-related injuries
In addition to being easier on the body than many other substances, a study has found “among the 136,536 working participants, 2577 (2%) had a work-related injury in the last 12 months. Of these 2577 who had a work-related injury, 4% also reported being a cannabis user in the same period. We found no association between past-year cannabis use and work-related injury.”
Cannabis use worked as an alternative to prescription opioids in just over half of patients with low back pain.
The association was unchanged when the researchers analyzed high injury risk occupational groups.
In another long-term study, out of 61 patients using opiates for pain, 50.8% were able to stop their opiate use altogether over a median of 6.4 years. Thus, the study concluded that “cannabis use worked as an alternative to prescription opioids in just over half of patients with low back pain and as an adjunct to diminish use in some chronic opioid users.”
However, opiates aren’t the only thing stealing loved ones away from people. Xanax and alcohol are the only substances that humans can die from withdrawing. Due to this, any research which shows alternative options for either substance is crucial to publish and disseminate.
Although a weaker argument than others, recent research found that inhibiting the degradation of fatty acid amides positively affected social anxiety disorder. While it did not fully treat it, it positively affected the symptoms. Thus, THC, which acts similarly to anandamide, may be able to provide relief from social anxiety disorder, although more research is necessary.
Less of a gateway drug, more of a bridge bomber
A study in Canada was performed on 2102 people who were enrolled in their medical cannabis program. It was focused on the effects of cannabis on drinking and featured many people who were starting on medical cannabis to reduce their alcohol intake.
An intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption was associated with significantly greater odds of both reducing and ceasing alcohol use altogether.
From the study, “Overall, 419 (44%) participants reported decreases in alcohol usage frequency over 30 days, 323 (34%) decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week, and 76 (8%) reported no alcohol use at all in the 30 days prior to the survey. Being below 55 years of age and reporting higher rates of alcohol use in the pre-period were both associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol use, and an intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption was associated with significantly greater odds of both reducing and ceasing alcohol use altogether.
As Europe is the heaviest consumer of alcohol in the world according to WHO, the spread of legalization on the continent could greatly serve her people. Likewise, growing American legalization may already be saving lives as well. Happier days ahead.
Text: Karhlyle Fletcher
Cannabis Therapy – online magazine for cannabis patients and experts alike. Issue No.2 coming soon! In the meantime, check out the issue no. 1 HERE.