Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Decreased Crack Cocaine Consumption

Vancouver, British Columbia: Cannabis consumption is positively associated with the decreased use of crack cocaine, according to longitudinal data published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Canadian investigators assessed the use patterns of cannabis and crack cocaine in a cohort of 122 subjects over a three-year period. They reported that participants subsequently reduced their frequency of crack cocaine consumption following the intentional use of cannabis.

They concluded: “In this longitudinal study, we observed that a period of self-reported intentional use of cannabis … was associated with subsequent periods of reduced use of crack [cocaine]. … Given the substantial global burden of morbidity and mortality attributable to crack cocaine use disorders alongside a lack of effective pharmacotherapies, we echo calls for rigorous experimental research on cannabinoids as a potential treatment for crack cocaine use disorders.”

The findings replicate those of a smaller Brazilian study reporting that the therapeutic use of cannabis reduced crack cocaine cravings and use patterns in drug dependent subjects.

Separate studies have similarly reported that the use of opioids and rates of opioid-related mortality falls in jurisdictions where marijuana access is legal. Nationwide data also reports a decline in adults’ overall use of cocaine at the same time that adults’ use of marijuana has risen.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Intentional cannabis use to reduce crack cocaine use in a Canadian setting: A longitudinal analysis,” appears in Addictive Behaviors.