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Tilray study links medical cannabis use to reduced alcohol use


October 28, 2020
By Grow Opportunity staff

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Medical cannabis use is associated with self-reported reductions and even discontinued use of alcohol among Canadian patients.

Among 973 survey participants, 44 per cent (419 people) reported decreases in alcohol usage frequency over 30 days. About 34 per cent (323 people) decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week and about 8 per cent (76 people) reported no alcohol use in 30 days.

These findings come from the Canadian Cannabis Patient Survey 2019, which was led by Philippe Lucas, graduate researcher at University of Victoria and VP Global Patient Research and Access at Tilray. Results of the survey were recently published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

“The results of CCPS 2019 add to a growing body of evidence that medical cannabis use is often associated with reductions in the use of other substances, including alcohol, opioids, tobacco and illicit drugs” says Lucas in an Oct. 18 press release. “Since alcohol is the most prevalent recreational substance in the world, and its use results in significant rates of criminality, morbidity and mortality, these findings may result in improved health outcomes for medical cannabis patients, as well as overall improvements in public health and safety.”

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The survey gathered information on patient demographics, patterns of cannabis use and self-reported us of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs before and after medical cannabis initiation from 2012 Canadian medical cannabis patients registered with Tilray.

According to the survey, being younger than 55 years old and reporting higher rates of alcohol use prior to initiating medical cannabis use were associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol use.

Tilray is a Canadian medical cannabis producer based in Nanaimo, B.C. It currently serves medical cannabis patients in 13 counties, and supports clinical and observational studies on medical cannabis in Canada, the U.S., the European Union and Australia.