•   Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Overcoming alcohol dependence with cannabis - is that possible?

The slogan - cannabis, the first thought that most people think of - marijuana and a junkie. As it turns out, it is not as black and white as it may seem and also cannabis has its positive face.

Cannabis and cannabis products are successful in several areas of application, but the main problem is the low number of clinical trials confirming the effectiveness of cannabis. The most recent indications for treatment with cannabis derivatives include psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders - post-traumatic stress disorder and Tourette's syndrome.

Cannabis in the fight against addiction

marijuana in the fight against alcoholIt is worth recalling a story that has had a lot of resonance. A 60-year-old man, an alcoholic since he was 20, has been trying to fight his addiction. More than 15 years ago, he made his first attempt at overcoming the disease, using the support of the AA group, doctors, psychotherapists and available medicines. It lasted until 2000 and did not bring any major effects. At that time, the man decided that since traditional medicine had failed him, he still had the strength of his own will, the meeting of the AA group and total abstinence. He also decided to detoxify and accidentally noticed on this occasion that cannabis helped him maintain his state of abstinence from alcohol. After some time, he observed that working on oneself and helping oneself with cannabis resulted in a gradual disappearance of alcohol dependence. Similar observations were also observed in clinical trials and experiments on animals.

The effect of cannabis on addicts

In 2003, a group of heroin addicts underwent an experimental programme with the use of Methadon. The results were surprising - the additional effect of cannabis on patients did not lead to repeated use of cocaine or heroin.

Medical use of hemp

cannabis in the fight against addiction

More than 30 years earlier, in 1970, a report was published by a California psychiatrist, Dr. Tod Mikuriya, one of the most fierce American fighters for the medical use of cannabis. He observed that his 49-year-old alcoholic patient drank much less when she smoked marijuana. By means of trial and error methods, together they tried to find an appropriate dose that would help a woman to free herself from alcohol addiction, but also to avoid falling into the clutches of the next one and return to normal functioning in society. The five-month replacement therapy with marijuana was surprisingly positive - the woman managed to control the situations that usually led to her reaching for alcohol. In times of crisis, she used marijuana, but within the limits of common sense and self-control. At the same time, she observed a significant improvement in her health, less irritability and easier concentration.

Marijuana versus alcohol

Another study was conducted in 2009 at Yale, the American University, Department of Medicine. The experiment was carried out on a group of 28 people, some of whom had previously had problems with alcohol. During the study, participants were given daily marijuana, followed by a two-week break. During this break, participants who had previously experienced alcohol problems increased the amount of accepted percentages by an average of 52% compared to the previous 'cannabis' period. The authors found this study to be an empirical confirmation of the effectiveness of substitution treatment for cannabis users on a daily basis.


  1. Amanda Reiman, "Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs Harm Reduct" J. 2009; 6: 35.
  2. Mikuriya TH. "Cannabis substitution. An adjunctive therapeutic tool in the treatment of alcoholism. Med Times". 1970 Apr; 98 (4):187-91.

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