There have been many vocal proponents regarding the clinical use of cannabis to treat a variety of ailments. These voices seem to be winning the debate with handy little things like scientific studies and common sense. One of those arguments is that cannabis is a gateway to other harder drugs such as opiates, where opponents to that position argue that cannabis offers a much safer alternative. Further to that, proponents claim that cannabis can be an effective way for users to “step-down” from hard drug use.
But is it?
The trouble with studies that even if they are conducted with the gold-standard of being double-blind and peer reviewed, they are not immune from some sort of bias. I’m not saying it happens all the time, I believe most scientists only want to understand the truth and reality of whatever they are studying, but I’m sure it does on occasion.
You can’t put too much weight in just one study. One only needs look at the Seven Countries Study, which began in 1956 to study heart disease. The negative repercussions of this study and subsequent influx of “low-fat” (yet high in sugar, carbs and chemicals) and misinformation that came along with it cannot be understated. That is a topic for another day and many, many more pages. Trust me, I’m on it.
For now, let’s take a look at this article from Medium. It’s a pretty quick read, and takes on the latest in the relationship between cannabis and opiates while looking at the big picture and how we collect and understand this vital information.
JT James is a DJ, producer and writer based out of Vancouver, Canada.