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Study Finds Most Likely Reasons For Canadian Medical Cannabis Use

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People use cannabis for a variety of reasons, including and especially wellness purposes. Whereas cannabis prohibition is a relatively new policy phenomenon, the use of cannabis for medical purposes by humans goes back many centuries.

The cannabis plant is arguably the most versatile plant on earth, possessing the ability to effectively treat a number of ailments, as proven by a growing body of research and a seemingly never-ending list of personal testimonials.

A team of researchers in Canada recently surveyed medical cannabis patients to try to determine the most common reasons for medical cannabis use. Below is more information about the researchers’ findings via a news release from NORML:

Quebec City, Canada: Canadians who consume cannabis for purposes of self-medication most frequently report doing so to address pain, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and depression, according to data published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

Canadian researchers surveyed 489 subjects who purchased cannabis products at adult-use retailers, but who acknowledged doing so to self-medicate. Consistent with prior data, respondents were most likely to report consuming cannabis products to mitigate anxiety (70 percent), improve sleep (56 percent), alleviate pain (53 percent), and address feelings of depression (37 percent). Subjects were also likely to acknowledge using cannabis to alleviate muscle spasticity, migraine, nausea, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Survey respondents typically reported using cannabis flower and selecting products dominant in THC. However, those respondents that exclusively defined their cannabis use as medical-only expressed a preference for CBD-dominant products.

In contrast with other surveys, most respondents acknowledged reporting their cannabis use to their health care professionals.

The results of another recent survey, published in the journal Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice, similarly determined that patients certified to use medical cannabis in the US most commonly do so to treat symptoms of pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and depression. The results of yet another recent survey, conducted by Harris Polling, also found that consumers most often report consuming cannabis to reduce stress, improve sleep, and mitigate anxiety.

Separate survey data compiled in April reported that 21 percent of US Medicare recipients acknowledge consuming cannabis for therapeutic purposes, typically to address symptoms associated with chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.

Full text of the study, “A description of self-medication with cannabis among adults with legal access to cannabis in Quebec, Canada,” appears in the Journal of Cannabis Research. Additional information on the use of cannabis for chronic pain is available from NORML.