CannaTrials adheres to evidence-based medicine – making statements based on medical evidence. This page is excerpted and quoted from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.    A Committee of over 40 experts, researchers, and reviewers in The Health and Medicine Division published a 486 page report in 2017 entitled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.If you would like to access the entire report you may do so by clicking this link.

Medical Marijuana and Addiction

“Drug addiction has been defined as a chronically relapsing disorder that is characterized by the compulsive desire to seek and use drugs with impaired control over substance use despite negative consequences (Prud’homme et al., 2015). The endocannabinoid system has been found to influence the acquisition and maintenance of drug-seeking behaviors, possibly through its role in reward and brain plasticity (Gardner, 2005; Heifets and Castillo, 2009). Furthermore, in laboratory settings orally administered dronabinol has been found to reduce cannabis withdrawal symptoms in cannabis users who were not seeking treatment to reduce cannabis use (Budney et al., 2007; Haney et al., 2004) and therefore may be expected to be useful as a substitute to assist to achieve and maintain abstinence of cannabis.

Based on the systematic reviews, neither of the two trials evaluating the efficacy of a cannabinoid in achieving or sustaining abstinence from cannabis showed a statistically significant effect. However, given the limited number of studies and their small size, their findings do not definitively rule out the existence of an effect. The only study examining the efficacy of a cannabinoid in cigarette smoking cessation was a pilot study that did not examine rates of abstinence. Thus, its efficacy for smoking cessation has not been thoroughly evaluated.

CONCLUSION 4-16 There is no evidence to support or refute the conclusion that cannabinoids are an effective treatment for achieving abstinence in the use of addictive substances.[1]

[1] The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research | The National Academies Press. 2017. Page 116-118. Download the complete 486 page report.

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