Can prescribed medical cannabis use reduce the use of other more harmful drugs?

There is growing recognition of the potential utility of medical cannabis as a harm reduction intervention. Although used for this indication in other countries, there is an absence of UK clinical guidelines that supports such an approach. We administered a short survey to gain a better understanding of the potential role of medical cannabis by 39 people who were currently using illicit cannabis and accessing a specialist substance misuse treatment service. It was identified that 36 (92.3%) respondents found that cannabis positively impacted upon their physical and/or mental wellbeing and 56.4% reported that they used less of other substances which are known to be more harmful as a result. Therefore, while we acknowledge the small sample size, given the notable potential positive impact that medical cannabis could have as a harm reduction intervention, we propose that the use should be trialled within a specialist drug treatment setting.

This research was published in the Drug Science, Policy and Law Journal the definitive source of evidence-based information and comment for academics, scientists, policymakers, frontline workers and the general public on drugs and related issues

For open-access to the full report of this research, see below: