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大麻能减少危害吗? 研究显示使用它的患者少喝酒

如果这意味着您可能减少饮酒,吸烟或开处方药,您会抽大麻吗? 一项 针对一组患者的 最新研究 为大麻是一种“ 出口 ”药物而不是入门药物 的观点提供了更有说服力的证据

该研究 发表在《国际毒品政策杂志》上, 比较了973名患者的调查结果,这些患者回答了 在获得医生的医疗大麻授权之前和之后 如何使用 酒精的 问题 其中,有44%的人报告每月少喝酒,有34%的人每周少喝标准酒,还有8%的人说在完成调查前的30天内根本不喝酒。

这项研究的数据来自《 2019年加拿大大麻患者调查》,该调查是对由持牌生产商 Tilray 注册的患者进行的调查,该调查 由该公司患者研究和获取副总裁以及维多利亚大学研究员Philippe Lucas领导。

用心更大的成功

卢卡斯说,这项研究最有趣的发现是,当患者有意使用医用大麻减少饮酒量时,他们少喝酒或完全戒酒的几率会大大增加。

“约有13%的参与者表示,他们故意使用医用大麻来减少酒精的使用。 相反,只有不到百分之一的医生与他们的医生合作过。”卢卡斯说。

他说,这表明针对医生和医用大麻患者的公共卫生运动“既有机遇,也有机遇”,突出了食用大麻的共同但通常是意想不到的好处:患者可能开始使用大麻来治疗慢性疼痛或焦虑,发现自己出乎意料地倾向于减少社会上最喜欢的液体致癌物。

他说:“如果对等式的两面都有压倒性的认识,我认为我们会看到减少危害的方面和替代效果会更加重要。”

不仅可以减少酒精消费。 他说,当将医用大麻纳入治疗方案时,许多患者还减少了处方阿片类药物,烟草和违禁药物的使用。

大麻能减少危害吗?
研究显示使用它的患者少喝酒

Philippe Lucas, Ph.D is the VP of patient research and access at Tilray and a researcher at the … [+]

COURTESY PHOTO

“For those who are affected by problematic substance use, more and more research is suggesting that whether your dependence is on alcohol or tobacco, on prescription opioids or illicit opioids, that it may be helpful, either as a standalone or as an adjunct treatment to either reduce or cease the use of these substances.”

A Safer Option

But is it really any good if a patient is simply swapping one substance for another? Lucas and others in the field agree that it’s not that simple, especially given the mountains of existing evidence that show that our vice of choice, alcohol, is in fact the most dangerous .

“While cannabis carries with it a small chance of dependence, it is far lower than the risk of addiction and associated morbidity and mortality than alcohol,” he says.

Worldwide, alcohol use is a leading risk factor for disease, and accounts for nearly 10 percent of global deaths in people aged 15 to 49. According to the World Health Organization, nearly three million deaths a year—five percent of annual deaths worldwide—are related to booze.

Let’s not forget alcohol’s link to cancer, which is estimated to kill more than 605,000 Americans in 2020. Risks of colorectal and breast cancers increase by 50 percent in people who drink excessively, with research showing even one drink a day can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

“While I would be the last person to suggest that cannabis is completely safe, or the right drug for all patients under any circumstance—there are some populations that are going to be more vulnerable when it comes to using cannabis—for some patients as well as non-medical users, it’s not a gateway but rather an exit drug to problematic substance use,” Lucas says.

Flipping the Script

The Canadian researcher has studied cannabis as a substitution for other substances for several years, and was first introduced to the concept 20 years ago when he opened up the Vancouver Island Compassion Society in 1999.

“Patients would share with me that when they smoked a joint or ate a cannabis cookie, they wouldn’t have an urge to go out and look for heroin or crystal meth,” he says. “That really flipped the script for me because up until that point, we had our governments and our public health and education systems calling cannabis a gateway drug.”

Now that there is robust evidence to support this, federal agencies north of the border are starting to pay attention. Lucas has been invited to present data to Health Canada, Veteran Affairs, Senate special committees and the House of Commons.

Since alcohol is the most harmful psychoactive substance used in the world and has far greater impacts to individual and public health than cannabis, he says, a shift from the former to the latter could significantly improve public health and safety.

“In U.S. states that have legalized the medical and non-medical use of cannabis, research has found associated reductions in alcohol-related automobile fatalities , violent crimes , homicides , and even suicides , as all of these are associated with alcohol use—but not with cannabis consumption.”

Lucas is currently working on follow-up studies that take a closer look at how cannabis affects patients’ opioid and tobacco consumption.

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