Amanda Reiman, University of California, Berkeley, USA, carried out the study at Berkeley Patient’s Group, and found that 40 per cent of the 350 cannabis users quizzed resorted to the drug to control their alcohol cravings.
The poll further discovered that 66 users consumed cannabis as a replacement for prescription drugs and 26 per cent for other, more potent, illegal drugs.
Amanda said: "Substituting cannabis for alcohol has been described as a radical alcohol treatment protocol. This approach could be used to address heavy alcohol use in the British Isles - people might substitute cannabis, a potentially safer drug than alcohol with less negative side-effects, if it were socially acceptable and available".
She added: "This brings up two important points. First, self-determination, the right of an individual to decide which treatment or substance is most effective and least harmful for them.
“Secondly, the recognition that substitution might be a viable alternative to abstinence for those who can’t or won’t completely stop using psychoactive substances".
The study was published in BioMed Central ’ open access Harm Reduction Journal.