Treating Alcoholism With Medical Marijuana
- Best marijuana strains for treating alcoholism.
- How medical marijuana helps treat alcoholism.
- How cannabinoids and terpenes affect alcoholism.
- Studies on medical marijuana for alcoholism.
For some time, the use of marijuana in treating medical conditions has been a controversial topic in the medical community. The reason is that while some well-respected doctors are advocating for its use, others are more concerned about its addictive properties as well as long term effects. Some researchers have however focused on exploring the potential of marijuana as treatment for chronic diseases like cancer and AIDS, whereas recent studies are focusing their efforts on the effects of marijuana on alcoholism. Recall that the conventional western model of treating alcoholism has been statistically proven to have a poor success rate as an estimated half of individuals who begin an addiction treatment program often relapse within a period of six months. Well, the truth is that for alcoholics, the only real choice of emerging victorious over their affliction is to quit drinking in its entirety. This therefore explains why many forward thinking recovery programs have been replacing the daily use of alcohol with that of medicinal marijuana.
There is some evidence that marijuana may be useful in combating alcoholism as well as cocaine cravings. That said, cannabis aided alcoholism recovery is commonly known as “Marijuana Maintenance”. It is apparent that for starters, cannabis aided alcoholism recovery could offer a relatively non-impactful solution to alcohol cravings, since addicts smoke or inhale cannabis instead of taking a drink.
Can cannabis help treat Alcoholism?
According to reports from the Harmful Reduction Journal, cannabis can actually curb an addict’s craving for alcohol. The report further ascertained that the use of cannabis in treating alcoholism is even more viable and a natural alternative to prescription medications such as benzodiazepines. Besides, there are indications that a large proportion of drinkers often medicate with alcohol in a bid to relief various psychological conditions including anxiety, stress, depression, anger or PTSD. However, it becomes interesting that studies have revealed that using cannabis responsibly can provide relief from these same emotional conditions without the dangers of withdrawal and addiction which is quite common with alcohol or prescription medication drugs.
A 2018 study that was published via Neuropsychopharmacology, cannabidiol or CBD which is a substance found in cannabis can actually help in the prevention of relapse in drug as well as alcohol patients. The study further ascertained that cannabidiol or CBD prevents relapses better, especially when patients are re-entering stress filled environments. It is however worthy to note that this study was carried on rats by scientists at Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. In the course of the research, the scientists gave rats a daily dose of cocaine and alcohol, which made them exhibit some addiction symptoms including anxiety as well as impulsivity. Of course, after the rats were addicted, they were injected with a CBD gel into their skin. The scientists however observed over time that the rats that were injected with CBD showed reduced signs of relapse into addiction even when they were exposed to stress.
Another recent study by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver further revealed that an estimated 50% of all medical cannabis users had deliberately applied for a medical card to substitute weed for booze. This data is therefore a phenomenal indication that the legalization of cannabis alone could result in a huge dent in the catastrophic statistics related to alcohol abuse, and could even empower risk prevention strategies.
Scientists have also found some evidences that medical marijuana can be used in the treatment of Cirrhosis. It is worthy to recall that Cirrhosis is a condition which is associated with the disruption of the normal liver architecture after many years of chronic abuses by different etiologies, alcohol inclusive. Another paper published by the Journal of Neuroscience also concluded that cannabis works as a neuroprotective shield against damage already caused by alcohol in the brain stem. More so, the authors of this study suggested that weed alleviates severe craving symptoms, thereby easing the path to full recovery.
Of course, the most effective treatment of cirrhosis, which is associated with the excessive use of alcohol largely involves cessation of the use of alcohol. Thus, researchers have opined that medical marijuana can be used in treating cirrhosis considering that CBD which is largely present in cannabis prevents relapses of alcoholism even when the patient is under stressful conditions.
Amidst the discovery that marijuana could be helpful in treating alcoholism and cirrhosis, researches have urged people in the recovery stage to be cautious when it comes to using medical marijuana. According to many researchers, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is new with most of the studies being preclinical. Therefore, further clinical studies on the effects of marijuana on patients as well as surveys aimed at exploring whether or not the substance can trigger a relapse are necessary. Researchers and scientists have therefore opined that it isn’t a logical decision to blindly make recommendations about the use of medical marijuana at this juncture, but they rather owe it to themselves to first of all fully understand its implications.
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