The Most Common Reason Given for Medical Marijuana Prescription is Chronic Pain
Statistics have shown that most people who have applied for medical marijuana programs cite chronic pain as their chief complaint.
According to an analysis of data from 15 states published in Health Affairs on Monday, chronic pain is the most common reason people give when enrolling in state-approved medical marijuana programs. Following common pain, people cite stiffness from multiple sclerosis and nausea from chemotherapy.
Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
The analysis, performed by researchers from the University of Michigan, found that chronic pain has been the most common reason for medical marijuana for several years. It accounts for 62.2 percent of all patient-reported qualifying conditions.
In a press release from University of Michigan Medicine, the authors state that their findings are “consistent with the prevalence of chronic pain, which affects an estimated 100 million Americans.”
Although the researchers didn’t examine the efficacy of the drug, 85.5 percent of patients self-reported that they had substantial or conclusive evidence that marijuana had therapeutic effects.
According to the lead author, Kevin Boehnke, the findings provide “support for legitimate evidence-based use of cannabis that is at direct odds with its current drug schedule status.” The findings are also important, he said, “as more people look for safer pain management alternatives in light of the current opioid epidemic.”
“Since the majority of states in the U.S. have legalized medical cannabis, we should consider how best to adequately regulate cannabis and safely incorporate cannabis into medical practice,” Boehnke said in the release.
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