Using cannabis can ease cravings for street-level drugs, UBC research suggests

published on February 15, 2024 in UBC Okanagan News

New findings from researchers at the University of British Columbia suggest that cannabis could play a role in addressing the ongoing opioid overdose crisis.

A new publication from Dr. Hudson Reddon, alongside UBC Okanagan’s Dr. Zach Walsh and UBC Vancouver’s Dr. M-J Milloy, observed that using cannabis is associated with decreased use of crystal methamphetamine among people at highest risk of overdose in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

About 45 per cent of the study’s participants reported using cannabis to manage their cravings for stimulant drugs in the last six months, including powder cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamines. A notable reduction in crystal meth use was observed among those who used cannabis for craving management. This association was not significant for crack cocaine users.

Dr. Reddon, the study’s lead researcher, emphasized the potential of cannabis as a harm-reduction strategy.

“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,” says Dr. Reddon…

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