Study: UBCO project says marijuana could help certain addiction

“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce the use of substances that are potentially more harmful."

UBC Okanagan’s Zach Walsh

Using marijuana could help some alcoholics and people addicted to opioids kick their habits, a UBC Okanagan study has found.

“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce the use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication,” said the study’s lead investigator Zach Walsh, an associate professor of psychology at UBC Okanagan.

This comprehensive systematic review of research on the medical cannabis use and mental health also found some evidence that cannabis may help with symptoms of depression, PTSD and social anxiety. However, the review concluded that cannabis use might not be recommended for conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis.

“In reviewing the limited evidence on medical cannabis, it appears that patients and others who have advocated for cannabis as a tool for harm reduction and mental health have some valid points,” said Walsh.

Walsh and his team systematically reviewed all studies of medical cannabis and mental health, as well as reviews on non-medical cannabis use—making the review one of the most comprehensive reports to date on the effects of medical cannabis on mental health.

With legalization of marijuana possible as early as next year in Canada, it’s important to identify ways to help mental health professionals move beyond stigma to better understand the risk and benefits of cannabis is increasingly important, added Walsh.

“There is not currently a lot of clear guidance on how mental health professionals can best work with people who are using cannabis for medical purposes,” he said. “With the end of prohibition, telling people to simply stop using may no longer be as feasible an option. Knowing how to consider cannabis in the treatment equation will become a necessity.”

Walsh’s research was conducted with UBC’s Michelle Thiessen, Kim Crosby and Chris Carroll; Raul Gonzalez from Florida State University; and Marcel Bonn-Miller from the National Centre for PTSD and Centre for Innovation and Implementation in California.

The study was recently published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review.

Just Posted

UBCO Heat teams unable to secure any wins against Mount Royal Cougars

The mens and womens volleyball and basketball teams went 0-4, but all have rematches Saturday night

Rockets held scoreless in loss against Red Deer

Rockets will look for some points in final game of road trip against Edmonton

New maintenance crew to look after Okanagan Connector

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. will replace Argo Road Maintenance Inc. in 2019

New Lake Country arts council to request funds from district

The arts council will ask the district for $8,000 from 2019 to 2021

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Hodge: The long road to recovery

Kelowna - The first week of recovery I was too consumed in pain to notice the lack of fluid.

Most Read