Why Do More and More Americans Use Medical Marijuana?

Why Are More Americans Using Medical Marijuana?

Why Are More Americans Using Medical Marijuana?

Chronic pain accounted for 62.2% of all patient-reported qualifying conditions under which U.S. patients sought medical marijuana, according to a new paper in Health AffairsThe research compared state registry data with evidence from the 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medical report on cannabis. That's followed by stiffness from multiple sclerosis and chemotherapy-related nausea.

"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", Boehnke said, in a university announcement about the study.

As of 2018, medical marijuana use is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia, while recreational use is legal in 10 states.

Dementia and glaucoma, for example, are conditions where marijuana hasn't proved valuable, but some states include them.

About 85 percent of patients' reasons were supported by substantial or conclusive evidence in the National Academies report. He's an investigator at University of Michigan's Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.

One of the authors of the study noted that the most common reasons for using medical marijuana are also the areas where research is most reliable about cannabis' effects and benefits to help treat.

"This finding is consistent with the prevalence of chronic pain, which affects an estimated 100 million Americans", said the researchers in the study's report. Only half of the states kept tabs on patient-reported qualifying conditions (illnesses that allowed a patient to obtain a medical marijuana license) and only 20 states reported data on the number of registered patients.

Patients who receive cannabis for medical purposes must possess a license to use it.

She told the Associated Press that on bad days, her muscles feel like they're being squeezed in a vise. She spends about $300 a month at her marijuana dispensary.

"Cannabis is the first thing I've found that actually makes the pain go away and not leave me so high that I can't enjoy my day", Smith told the AP. More than 62 percent of them admitted that they use medical marijuana to tackle chronic pain. Schedule I means a substance has no medical use and has a high potential for abuse; because of the classification it is hard to conduct clinical trials on marijuana.

According to lead author Kevin Boehnke, these findings show that more and more people are using cannabis to manage their pains and that the evidence-based use of cannabis is at direct odds with its current drug schedule status.

"Since the majority of states in the USA have legalized medical cannabis, we should consider how best to adequately regulate cannabis and safely incorporate cannabis into medical practice", Boehnke said. So even though medical marijuana may be useful in treating chronic pain, nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity symptoms, many doctors do not have the necessary training and guidelines at their disposal to recommend this drug to their patients.