Legalized ‘light cannabis’ linked to declining drug sales

CBD Oil info

However, in the first 10 months after “light cannabis” became available, the country’s National Health Service noticed a marked drop in the number of pharmaceuticals it dispensed, according to a new study.

“In particular, – write researchers from the University of York in the United Kingdom, – after the introduction of this policy, we found that the introduction of “light cannabis” in this province resulted in a reduction in the number of tranquilizer boxes distributed by approximately 11.5%, a reduction in metered sedatives by 10%, and a reduction in antipsychotic doses by 4.8%.”

The study, published in the Health Econometrics and Data Group working paper series, is one of the first to look at how people use cannabis to self-medicate.

In 2016, a new law in Italy regulating cannabis production inadvertently sparked a “green gold rush”: Cannabis flower with ≤0.2% THC became legal to buy as a “collectible”. People can buy them, but technically it is not allowed to consume them. Unlike the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp at the federal level, the Italian law removed certain restrictions on the plant. A few months later, retailers in the country were selling cannabis as a “technical product.”


Original price before discount€69.90

Price: €39.90

3491.25 ₽

1364.98 ₴


Original price before discount€38.90

Price: €24.90

2178.75 ₽

851.83 ₴


Original price before discount€27.90

Price: €22.90

2003.75 ₽

783.41 ₴

The authors of the study found the "inadvertent liberalization of light cannabis" to be an excellent starting point for exploring how the availability of cannabis could potentially encourage people to use it as a replacement for traditional medicines.

“We found that the availability of light hemp in the local market led
to reduce the number of distributed boxes of opioids, tranquilizers,
sedatives, anti-migraine drugs, antiepileptics,
antidepressants and antipsychotics."

For their study, they collected monthly pharmaceutical sales data for all 106 Italian provinces from January 2016 to February 2018. On an average per month, they found that the Italian health authority reimbursed 28 packs of sedatives and 72 boxes of tranquilizers (or anti-anxiety drugs) per province. They also documented the reimbursement of 12,610 opioid packs, 18,460 anti-epileptic packs, 27,198 antidepressant packs, 4,802 antipsychotic packs, and 2,504 migraine boxes.

Since easy cannabis became readily available in retail stores, the average amount of drugs dispensed has dropped by about 1.6 percent. Prescription medications commonly used to treat anxiety and psychosis - conditions that have been found to be affected by CBD - have declined the most.

“This is intuitively explained by the relaxing properties of CBD, which is often used to treat sleep disorders.” the study says. “Furthermore, the large ratio we see for sedatives and anxiolytics is also consistent with the substitution resulting from self-assessment and self-medication, i.e. being able to individually evaluate symptoms (i.e. anxiety and insomnia) and therefore decide whether to take tablets."

The researchers also recorded a slight decrease in the average number of boxes distributed against epilepsy (-1.5%), antidepressants (-1.2%), opioids (-1.2%) and migraine (approximately -1%).

Ultimately, the study concludes that "even a mild form of liberalization can have a significant spillover effect on the pharmaceutical market." As a result, the researchers are urging policymakers to consider better regulating the light cannabis market and assess how hemp-derived CBD can be used medicinally.

Meanwhile, in the US, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials are still trying to figure out how to regulate products containing CBD. The FDA commissioner recently stated that this could take several years without the involvement of Congress.

CBD hemp oil crystalline - hemp seed oil, ...


Original price before discount€30.00

Price: €24.99

2186.63 ₽

854.91 ₴

CBD hemp oil crystalline - hemp seed oil, ...


Original price before discount€42.90

Price: €26.99

2361.63 ₽

923.33 ₴

CBD oil crystalline - hemp seed oil enriched ...


Original price before discount€72.90

Price: €44.99

3936.63 ₽

1539.11 ₴

A source.