Study Explores Why Patients Use Medical Marijuana


Marijuana is used not only for getting high but also for improving healthy by relieving symptoms of chronic conditions. Medical marijuana is used by a big chunk of the population and research shows that people above the age of 81 also use it for relief. Sure, it does come with some adverse side effects, but safe usage can be administered by ensuring that the ratio of THC and CBD is optimal.

People are still confused about marijuana usage even for medical purposes because of the stigma that it comes with. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t use it – clearly, marijuana use has increased through the years. Now a new study dives into people’s marijuana using habits. This research has found that mainly marijuana is used for reducing chronic pain.

What Does This New Study Reveal?

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan was done to look into why people use cannabis. It was found that compared to the 1990’s, the stigma surrounding medical marijuana had evaporated somewhat. In 2018, 33 states and the District of Columbia legalized medical marijuana use. Meanwhile the recreational use of marijuana has been approved in 10 states.

However, at the Federal level marijuana can only be used under the Controlled Substances Act as though its medical use is accepted, it is still considered to have a high potential for abuse. This new study has been published in the Health Affairs issue. Researchers tapped into the state registry data of state medical marijuana use for the purpose of this study.

The lead author of this report, Kevin Boehnke said, “We did this study because we wanted to understand the reasons why people are using cannabis medically, and whether those reasons for use are evidence based.” To analyze patterns of cannabis use, scientists grouped qualifying conditions as reported by patients into evidence categories.

These categories were based on a 2017 report called National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that reviewed 10,000 scientific abstracts that discussed the effects of cannabis used for recreational or medical purposes. As per this report, there’s evidence that cannabis use could improve symptoms such as chronic pain, nausea, and vomiting that occur due to multiple sclerosis or chemotherapy.

It was found that data was short on patient reported conditions and only 20% of states had reported data on the number of registered patients. Researchers also noted that there were likely more registered medical cannabis patients than the number licensed. It was also noted that the number of cannabis users had increased overtime.

Moreover, the majority of licensed users, about 85.5% of them, used cannabis for an evidence-based condition with 62.2% using it for chronic pain. This study sheds light on how cannabis is being used which is not according to the current drug schedule. Today’s hearing on cannabis by the Food and Drug Administration will most probably unfold what the future holds for marijuana use.


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