Cannabis reduces the craving for street-level drugs

The use of Cannabis can manage unregulated drug users.


A new study led by researchers from the University of British Columbia found that Cannabis plays an essential role in managing the opioid overdose crisis.

Dr. Hudson Reddon, with the help of Dr. Zach Walsh from UBC Okanagan and Dr. M-J Milloy from UBC Vancouver, found out that using Cannabis could help reduce the use of crystal methamphetamine among people at risk of overdose in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The study suggested that 45% of participants experienced by using Cannabis, their cravings for stimulant drugs like powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamines were controlled in the past six months. They noticed a significant decrease in crystal meth use among those who used Cannabis for craving management. However, this decrease wasn’t as noticeable among crack cocaine users.

Dr. Reddon, the study’s lead researcher, highlighted the importance of Cannabis as a way to reduce harm associated with drug use. He said, “Our findings are not conclusive but do add to the growing scientific evidence that cannabis might be a beneficial tool for some people who want to better control their unregulated stimulant use, particularly for people who use crystal meth.”

Dr. Walsh, a Clinical Psychology Professor at UBCO and a leading substance use researcher, highlighted the importance of further investigation and more comprehensive studies needed for the importance of Cannabis in the overdose crisis. 

The study concluded that UBC research finds that using Cannabis can help ease cravings for street-level drugs, particularly among individuals at high risk of overdose. This study shows it is essential to look into different ways to make things safer and to deal with drug problems in communities that are affected.

Journal reference:

  1. Hudson Reddon, Maria Eugenia Socias, et al., Cannabis use to manage stimulant cravings among people who use unregulated drugs. Addictive Behaviors. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2023.107867.
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