29 Nov 2013

Drug may ease cannabis withdrawal, say researchers

1:44 pm on 29 November 2013

Australian researchers say they may have found a drug that could alleviate the short term effects of cannabis withdrawal.

The research, which is yet to be published, was presented at the New Zealand Drug Foundation's International Drug Policy Symposium in Auckland on Friday.

The drug Sativa - a mouth spray containing cannabis extracts - was given to patients who had used on average 23 grams of cannabis a week and wanted to quit.

David Allsop from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre in Sydney said over eight days Sativa significantly decreased withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, loss of appetite and mood swings.

He said withdrawal symptoms drive the relapse of people trying to quit cannabis.

Dr Allsop said after a 28-day follow up the patient's long term outcomes had not improved, and researchers now want to look at using the drug for a long term maintenance plan.