Canadian researchers have found polydrug users often turn to cannabis in order to decrease their consumption of stimulants like crystal methamphetamine.
NORML reports the team found almost half (45%) of the 297 polydrug users they surveyed said they consumed cannabis to manage their stimulant cravings, with 78% of those reporting decreased stimulant use as a result.
While cannabis was frequently associated with reductions in methamphetamine use, the researchers reported no decrease in use among those taking cocaine on a daily basis.
They conclude: “These findings indicate that cannabis use to manage stimulant cravings is a common harm reduction strategy and suggest that this may be an effective strategy to reduce stimulant use among some people who use unregulated drugs.
“In the absence of established pharmacotherapies for the treatment of stimulant-use disorders, further investigation of the harm reduction and therapeutic applications of cannabis use is warranted to address the harms of stimulant use.”