A paper published by a group of researchers in Australia states that cannabis-based medication could help people tackle dependency on cannabis.
The piece of study, published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine, used nabiximols – a concentrate which comprises nearly equal proportions of cannabidiol (CBD) and the psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Nabiximols are typically sprayed under the tongue and are primarily used to treat pain symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.
A total of 128 individuals participated in the 12-week-long study. The participants were divided into two groups: one group was given an average dose of about 18 sprays of nabiximol a day, with each 0.1mL of spray comprising 2.7mg of THC and 2.5mg of CBD; the other group was given a placebo.
At the end of the 12 weeks, it was noted that participants treated with nabiximols used significantly less illicit cannabis than patients who were given placebo medication. Thus, the medicine suppressed withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while ensuring physical and psychological well-being, as smoking the drug can lead to a host of respiratory health issues.
“The latest study published today shows that nabiximols can be effective in helping patients achieve longer-term changes in their cannabis use,” Lead author Prof Nick Lintzeris was quoted as saying.
He further added that the principles were very similar to nicotine replacement.
Stats estimate that 4 in every 5 patients relapse to regular use within 6 months of medical or psychological interventions.
“Our study is an important step in addressing the lack of effective treatments.”