by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

A recently published study in the Drug and Alcohol Review examined 473 adults who substituted cannabis (marijuana) for “alcohol, illicit substances and prescription drugs.” The subjects were using cannabis for therapeutic purposes (as opposed to the recreational use of marijuana).

The study found that:

Substituting cannabis for one or more of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs was reported by 87% (n = 410) of respondents, with 80.3% reporting substitution for prescription drugs, 51.7% for alcohol, and 32.6% for illicit substances.

Given the relative safety of cannabis (no recorded deaths from side effects of cannabis), and the tens of thousands of people who die every year from prescription drugs, cannabis should be looked at as a viable treatment for a variety of illnesses, as well as a substitute for “other psychoactive substances” that cause great harm through addiction and multiple side effects.

The study concludes:

The finding that cannabis was substituted for all three classes of substances suggests that the medical use of cannabis may play a harm reduction role in the context of use of these substances, and may have implications for abstinence-based substance use treatment approaches. Further research should seek to differentiate between biomedical substitution for prescription pharmaceuticals and psychoactive drug substitution, and to elucidate the mechanisms behind both.

Therapeutic Value of Cannabis a Threat to the Pharmaceutical Industry?


Prior to 1937 and the Marijuana Tax Act, which began the process of making cannabis illegal in the United States, cannabis was part of the American Medical Association’s prescribed pharmacopoeia for a variety of ailments, and doctors routinely wrote prescriptions for it. Not only does cannabis have therapeutic value in using it as a substitute for other more dangerous “psychoactive substances,” but research is continually showing that this natural plant herb has incredible therapeutic value as well.

A new documentary film, Weed The People, is being produced by filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake taking a look at the use of medical cannabis in curing childhood cancer. Cancer drugs are a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S., and its annual growth depends on NOT finding a cure. So there are vested interests in preventing the public from knowing about simple and effective alternatives to cancer drugs.

Watch the Weed the People trailer:


Filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake take an unflinching look at the underground world of herbal medicine, where patients become experts on their own conditions and spend thousands of dollars on federally illegal medicines that are concocted in suburban kitchens. Nowhere is this phenomenon more compelling than in the treatment of children, whose parents will stop at nothing to help them.

Weed the People looks beyond pot-activist propaganda and politics to reveal the legitimate science behind cannabis medicine and the compelling stories of ordinary people whose lives are inescapably caught up in the controversy.

To address the need of educating the public on the health benefits of cannabis, the first ever HolisticCannabis Summit was organized by the HolisticCannabis Network for April 4-7, 2016. It features an all-star lineup of speakers that include medical doctors and other holistic health professionals knowledgeable in the area of cannabis or “medical marijuana.”

The entire summit is online and is free, and covers such topics as:

  • Creating next generation innovations in the cannabis industry
  • Following the history of cannabis – what a long strange trip it’s been!
  • Medicating (less is more!) with cannabis for specific health conditions
  • Maximizing the body’s endocannabinoid system (what’s that!) for optimal health
  • Selecting the correct delivery systems (not necessarily smoking!) for medical marijuana
  • Exploring the convergence among Western medicine, holistic modalities, and cannabis

So reserve your spot now for the HolisticCannabis Summit by registering online free!

See Also:

Medical Cannabis: The REAL Reason the Government Wants to Keep it Banned

Medical Cannabis Becoming More Available to American Consumers

Can Cannabis Help Reverse Alzheimer’s?

Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy, and More

Majority of Physicians in U.S. Now Favor Medical Cannabis

U.S. Government Admits Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells

How Medical Cannabis Changed Our Lives: A Testimonial