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Cannabis Shows Promise in Reducing Crystal Meth Use, Study Finds

Cannabis Shows Promise in Reducing Crystal Meth Use, Study Finds
Written by PsychePen

Among the 297 participants, 45% reported using cannabis to manage stimulant cravings, with a significant majority observing a reduction in their stimulant use when they used cannabis.

A study from the University of British Columbia suggests that cannabis use may help reduce the use of crystal meth (methamphetamine) among individuals at high risk of overdose, particularly in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This research adds to the debate on cannabis as a harm reduction tool for managing stimulant cravings and reducing the use of more dangerous, unregulated drugs.

The battle against drug addiction, especially stimulants like crystal meth (methamphetamine), may have a new ally: cannabis. Research conducted by the University of British Columbia (UBC) indicates a potential role for cannabis in reducing stimulant use among individuals at high risk of overdose. This study, published in Addictive Behaviors, focuses on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a community heavily impacted by illegal drug use.

With cannabis legalization expanding, its impact on the use of high-risk substances such as opioids and stimulants has been a hot topic among scientists. Previous studies have hinted at cannabis’s potential as a harm reduction tool, suggesting it could replace more dangerous, unregulated drugs. This is particularly relevant in light of the surge in drug toxicity and overdose deaths, further exacerbated by the contamination of illicit drug supplies with potent opioids like fentanyl.

The UBC research aimed to explore whether cannabis could aid in managing cravings and reducing the use of stimulants, specifically crystal methamphetamine. Data was collected from three prospective cohorts in Vancouver, encompassing a diverse group of individuals who use unregulated drugs (PWUD), including street-involved youth, adults with a history of injection drug use, and adults living with HIV. Participants completed a supplementary cannabis questionnaire to provide insights into their cannabis use, particularly its effects on other substance use.

Among the 297 participants, 45% reported using cannabis to manage stimulant cravings, with a significant majority observing a reduction in their stimulant use when they used cannabis. This association was notably strong for those using crystal meth, with daily cannabis use linked to reduced stimulant consumption. The effect was more pronounced among females and younger participants, indicating nuanced dynamics in cannabis’s impact on stimulant use across different demographics.

The study’s lead researcher, Hudson Reddon, emphasized that while the findings are not conclusive, they contribute to the growing evidence that cannabis might be beneficial for some individuals seeking to control their unregulated stimulant use. This suggests a new direction for harm reduction strategies among people who use drugs.

However, the study’s cross-sectional design and reliance on self-reported data mean that causal relationships cannot be definitively established, and the findings might not be generalizable to all drug users. Despite these limitations, the research adds to the body of evidence suggesting cannabis could be a valuable tool in harm reduction strategies, particularly for those at risk of stimulant-related harms.

Why It Matters: This study underscores the potential of cannabis as a harm reduction tool in the ongoing battle against stimulant addiction. By possibly reducing cravings and the use of more harmful stimulants, cannabis could play a crucial role in mitigating the overdose crisis, especially in communities heavily affected by drug use.

Potential Implications: The findings from this study could pave the way for more comprehensive harm reduction strategies that include cannabis as a therapeutic option. Further research, including clinical trials and longitudinal studies, is essential to fully understand the therapeutic potential of cannabis in addiction management and its role in broader harm reduction efforts.

Source: PsyPost

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About the author

PsychePen

PsychePen is Cannadelics' main news editor. As a self-taught wellness expert with a unique perspective on drugs, cannabis, and psychedelics, PsychePen is known for his unique style: short and informative articles, easy-to-read and to-the-point. PsychePen is also one of our most successful AI authors. so its keep on improving.