Italian Big Pharma Losing Sales To CBD

While many of you are sadly pouring out a 40 for your favorite fallen fictional Throne Game character, perhaps I can bring some light into your day with some good news about the benefits of cannabis, at least until someone releases “Jon Snowpocalypse Kush,” a strain which is beautiful, yet after smoking it, you find you truly know nothing.

Earlier this year, I wrote about hemp flower being sold in Italy. While the THC limit on this Italian “bud” is subterranean low—0.2% percent, and no, that’s not a typo—it’s found some grateful Italian customers who are seeking to relieve various maladies, and who also really enjoy lato oscuro della luna.

Marijuana Moment reports on a new study from people with GoT accents—researchers from the University of York in the UK—who have determined that this workaround and very limited form of “cannabis” legalization has a surprising impact on the sales of prescriptions drugs.

The researchers were able to track “dispensed boxes” of all medications, as Italy has some batshit healthcare system where the government actually reimburses you for the medications you need.

The study looked at these reimbursements for two years in more than 100 provinces of Italy. They found a reduction of medications across the board, with an overall reduction of 1.6 percent. But they found that certain medications were seemingly being swapped out for this low-THC “light cannabis.”

Per Marijuana Moment:

“Specifically,” researchers from York University in the United Kingdom wrote, “after the introduction of the policy, we find that the arrival of light cannabis in a given province led to a reduction in the number of dispensed boxes of anxiolytics [anti-anxiety meds] by approximately 11.5 percent, reduction of dispensed sedatives by 10 percent and a reduction of dispensed anti-psychotics by 4.8 percent.”

The authors posit why this may be, writing,

“This is intuitively explained by the relaxant properties of CBD, which is often used to treat sleep disorders. Moreover, the large coefficient we observe for sedatives and anxiolytics are also consistent with substitution stemming from self-assessment and self-medication, that is, the possibility to individually evaluate symptoms (i.e. anxiety and insomnia) and, consequently, to decide whether to take a pill.”

The study is a reinforcement of the idea that when a regulated system of cannabis is made available, its access creates awareness that cannabis can offer a safer alternative to the treatment and management of some physical and psychological issues.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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