Medical Study Shatters the Theory that Cannabis Acts as a Gateway Drug


Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Research reveals that cannabis may, in fact, serve as an effective exit drug for persons suffering from alcoholism or addiction to illicit or prescription drugs. A survey conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) found that addicts may benefit from using cannabis as a substitute to more dangerous and health-destroying substances, especially alcohol and prescription drugs. Cannabis may be a step towards fighting addiction.

“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication.” ~ Zach Walsh, Researcher and UBC Associate Professor of Psychology

  • The UBC study was conducted using a 414-question survey that was offered to medical cannabis patients. The survey gathered information about medical conditions and symptoms, patterns of medical cannabis use, cannabis substitution and barriers to access to medical cannabis.

    Collecting surveys from 472 adults, all of whom used cannabis for therapeutic purposes, the researchers found that:

    “Substituting cannabis for one or more of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs was reported by 87% of respondents, with 80.3% reporting substitution for prescription drugs, 51.7% for alcohol, and 32.6% for illicit substances.”

    The research also revealed that the use of medical cannabis may be able to help with depression, PTSD and anxiety in some sufferers. The researchers felt that it was not effective in treating symptoms of bipolar disorder and psychosis. The findings were published in the academic journal Clinical Psychology Review.

    The study also found that, according to evidence, “cannabis use does not appear to increase risk of harm to self or others.” (Source)

    Full study can be found here:

    About the Author

    Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.


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    This article (Medical Study Shatters the Theory that Cannabis Acts as a Gateway Drug) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

    Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

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