A recent study of Canadian medical marijuana patients found that regular cannabis use can lessen a person’s reliance on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. This is the first study to provide a specific breakdown of which substances are being substituted by the use of our friendly plant.
The results of the study were released by The International Journal of Drug Policy. Patients registered to a single Licensed Producer were invited to participate in the online survey that consisted of “107 questions on demographics, patterns of use, and cannabis substitution effect.” The survey’s findings are based off of responses from 271 patients.
A whopping 63% of those who participated use cannabis as a substitute for other prescription drugs. Within that group, 30% reported using pot instead of opioids.
The survey of authorized medical patients also found that 16% of respondents use cannabis as a substitute for benzodiazepines, and 12% toke up instead of popping antidepressants. As for reliance on social substances, 25% responded that they use marijuana as a substitute for alcohol, and 12% enjoy cannabis instead of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The research concluded that 42% of respondents are still getting their marijuana through what the questionnaire called “illegal, unregulated sources,” further evidence that the current medical marijuana system in Canada is far less than adequate for patients.