Medical cannabis has already been used for treating many debilitating conditions, yet few doctors apply the substance for reducing drug addiction. Patients at Los Angeles rehab center are taking marijuana for battling their dependence on cocaine and heroin.
Though marijuana is associated with drug addiction, the substance can actually diminish the negative impact of drug consumption, according to Joe Schrank, director of the High Sobriety clinic in Los Angeles. His treatment center applies medical cannabis as detox for patients with severe drug addiction.
Drug treatment centers do not commonly use drugs for treating dependence, but marijuana helps patients manage their pain and other heath issues. Moreover, there have been no lethal cases of cannabis use, which cannot be said about heroin or cocaine.
The center has already helped nearly fifty patients with their drug abuse problems. The clinic's doctors are sure that medical cannabis can potentially help reduce the distressing symptoms associated with the attempts to stop using dangerous substances.
However, there is no scientific evidence that cannabis can reduce drug addiction, and many medical marijuana doctors do not recommend using the substance for treating the abuse of other drugs.
Drug addiction is traditionally treated using the approach of all-or-nothing, but the High Sobriety clinic is practicing the method of harm reduction when patients consume less severe drugs for relieving their drug dependence.
The patients of the Los Angeles clinic are offered to refuse from strong drugs gradually by taking a less harmful substance like medical cannabis.
Drug addiction is extremely dangerous and, currently, there is no medicine to treat it. The medical aftereffects of using cocaine include brain changes, as well as bleeding, seizures, and strokes. Fortunately, medical cannabis can potentially help patients reduce these negative symptoms of drug abuse.
As for the scientific investigations in this field, researchers revealed that cannabidiol, or CBD, could potentially reverse the changes in the brain activity caused by heroin consumption.
Moreover, Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, found out in her research that CBD could restore the glutamate transmitter system that suffers from the use of heroin or opiates.
However, the researcher thinks that further studies are necessary in order to consider medical cannabis as a treatment option for drug and opioid addiction.
Another recent study conducted by Canadian scientists investigated the effects of intentional use of cannabis for reducing crack cocaine consumption. The findings showed that deliberate cannabis use was associated with reduced frequency of crack use in the following periods among cocaine-addicted patients.