From the Editor

Creams, gummies, drinks. Cannabidiol (CBD) is increasingly popular and found in various products. Given its supposed benefits, including as an anxiolytic, could CBD be part of a harm reduction strategy?

In new paper for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Lindsay A. Lo (of the University of Toronto) and her co-authors attempt to answer that question with a rapid review of 27 studies, including 5 randomized trials, covering opioids, cocaine, and polydrug use. “Low-quality evidence suggests that CBD may reduce drug cravings and other addiction-related symptoms and that CBD may have utility as an adjunct harm reduction strategy for people who use drugs.” We discuss the paper and its implications.

In the second selection, Dr. Braden O’Neill (of the University of Toronto) and his co-authors consider cannabis clinic websites. Focusing on Ontario, they find 29 clinic websites. In new paper for Journal of Medical Internet Research, they look at the claims made, and analyze the supporting literature. “The recommendation of cannabis as a general therapeutic for many indications unsupported by high-quality evidence is potentially misleading for medical practitioners and patients.”

And in the third selection, Dr. Jeremy Devine (of McMaster University) writes about federal drug policy in an essay for The Toronto Star. He feels that the current approach to the opioid crisis is flawed, with its focus on “regulation” – and he is particularly critical of safe supply programs. “The core ideological flaw in our drug policy is that it fails to recognize a hard truth: the drug user cannot have both their addiction and a free, safe, and self-determined life.”


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