Research into cannabinoids, the cannabis plant, and actual reports of which conditions patients are using it for are lining up neatly in a new analysis, The Associated Press reports.
The analysis was published in the journal Health Affairs. While it did not look at the outcomes of patient use, it attempted to find connections between what conditions patients were treating with medical cannabis and which scientific research suggested they do so. The two aligned fairly well.
“The majority of patients for whom we have data are using cannabis for reasons where the science is the strongest.” — Kevin Boehnke of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, lead study author, via The Associated Press
About 85 percent of the reasons given by patients for their medical cannabis use were supported by substantial evidence. Nearly two-thirds of the 730,000 reasons analyzed said they use cannabis to treat chronic pain.
The analysis also discovered that Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon saw a decline in medical cannabis patients after adult-use legalization. The study determined there were more than 800,000 registered patients in 19 state medical cannabis programs, which doesn’t include either California or Maine, where registration is not required. Some estimates that include those states indicate that there may be more than two million U.S. patients using medical cannabis.
The analysis provides yet further evidence debunking prohibitionist claims that cannabis isn’t medicine.
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Patrick Beggan is a writer and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. After serving as a US Army medic, he developed a passion for natural and herbal medicine that led him to the West coast. As a photographer, he strives to capture mood & narrative simultaneously to create images that speak volumes.