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Cannabis based medicine effective for treating… Cannabis Dependency!

This is not as absurd as it sounds, and it all has to do with targeting certain receptors in the brain.

A University of Sydney clinical trial has produced the first strong evidence that so-called cannabinoid agonist medication could reduce the rate of relapse among addicts.

“We’ve never had the evidence before that medication can be effective in treating cannabis dependency – this is the first big study to show this is a safe and effective approach,” says Professor Nic Lintzeris of the New South Wales trails, published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA newsletter.

“The principles are very similar to nicotine replacement; you are providing patients with a medicine which is safer than the drug they’re already using, and linking this with medical and counselling support to help people address their illicit cannabis use.”

The cannabis concentrate, Nabiximols, which is made up of equal proportions of CBD and THC, is sprayed under the tongue and avoids the health impacts associated with smoking cannabis such as respiratory issues. It has been primarily used in Australia to treat pain symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.

The 12-week outpatient clinical trial of 128 participants taking nabiximols medication followed an earlier study by the same research team that had previously shown nabiximols reduce withdrawal symptoms in a short-term hospital treatment program. “The latest study published today is even more important in that it shows that nabiximols can be effective in helping patients achieve longer term changes in their cannabis use,”

Prof Lintzeris explains:

“Our study is an important step in addressing the lack of effective treatments — currently, four in five patients relapse to regular use within six months of medical or psychological interventions.”

His colleague, Professor Iain McGregor, notes that “worldwide we are seeing medicinal cannabis patients transition away from the traditional smoked route of cannabis administration; this new study… complements this trend by showing that an oral spray can be an effective substitute for smoked cannabis in heavy recreational users seeking treatment for their cannabis use.”

 

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