Characteristics of Dispensary Patients that Limit Alcohol after Initiating Cannabis.

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Many patients have reported that they decrease their use of opioids after starting medical cannabis (MC) but less is known for alcohol. The objective of this exploratory study was to identify any factors which differentiate alcohol abaters from those that do not modify their alcohol use after starting MC (non-abaters). Comparisons were made to identify any demographic, dosing, or health history characteristics which differentiated alcohol abaters (N = 47) from non-abaters (N = 65). Respondents selected from among a list of 37 diseases/health conditions (e.g. diabetes, sleep disorders). Abaters and non-abaters were indistinguishable in terms of sex, age, or prior drug history. A greater percentage of abaters (59.6%) than non-abaters (40.6%, p < .05) reported using MC two or more times per day. Abaters were more likely to be employed (68.1%) than non-abaters (51.1%, p < .05). Abaters also reported having significantly more health conditions and diseases (3.3 ± 2.0) than non-abaters (2.4 ± 1.4, p < .05). This small study offers some insights into the profile of patients whose self-reported alcohol intake decreased following initiation of MC. Additional prospective or controlled research into the alcohol abatement phenomenon following MC may be warranted.

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