American Medical Association Confirms ‘Significant’ And ‘Sustained’ Health Improvements From Medical Marijuana
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Currently, there are only four states in the US without some form of legalized cannabis. Attitudes have shifted as more people are openly embracing the healing potential of medical marijuana. A new American Medical Association published study finds, “Patients using medical cannabis reported improvements in health-related quality of life, which were mostly sustained over time.”
This new study from the Swinburne University of Technology, University of Western Australia and Austin Hospital examined the health effects and quality of life of 3,148 people prescribed cannabis by Emerald Clinics to examine how helpful medical marijuana truly is.
They followed up with the patients 15 times, roughly every 45 days, surveying data across 8 different categories. These 8 data points included limitations in physical activities due to health problems, bodily pain, general mental health, and vitality (i.e. energy and fatigue). Each category was scored on a 0-100 scale.
Respondents reported an improvement between 6-18 points with 10 points being deemed statistically significant by the study. The growing popularity of medical marijuana is due to the over 200 cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in cannabis that all engage with the human body.
We have an entire endocannabinoid system that engages with the chemicals in cannabis. They can turn up and down different bodily functions ranging from inflammation to relaxation to hunger. The most common prescriptions in the study were for non-cancer chronic pain, cancer-related pain, insomnia, and anxiety.
“The use of cannabis as a medicine is becoming increasingly prevalent,” the study reported. “Given the diverse range of conditions being treated with medical cannabis, as well as the vast array of products and dose forms available, clinical evidence incorporating patient-reported outcomes may help determine safety and efficacy.”
It is fairly simple to obtain your medical marijuana card. If you need help negotiating your state’s bureaucracy or need help finding doctors click here.
Could Cannabis Help with the National Opioid Crisis?
While patients may become too high there are not major toxicity concerns with cannabis compared to more traditional pharmaceuticals like opioids. In fact, the widespread legalization of marijuana may help with the national opioid crisis.
One study found a 5.5%-19.2% reduction in the rate of opioid dispensing in states where cannabis is legal. Another study found a correlation between legalized recreational cannabis and a decrease in codeine, a popular opioid, being dispensed by pharmacies.
As cannabis becomes more prevalent we can devote more in-depth study to all of the benefits of this holistic and natural remedy. The Australian study concluded, “This study suggests a favorable association between medical cannabis treatment and quality of life among patients with a diverse range of conditions. However, clinical evidence for cannabinoid efficacy remains limited, and further high-quality trials are required.”
Marijuana has had a sordid political past in the US, but there are countless benefits that are still being discovered. As more people embrace medical and recreational cannabis, scientists are getting more information about the potential for cannabis to replace traditional pharmaceuticals or offer relief and a better way of life. Now, there’s some science proof to that fact.
If you’d like to try medical marijuana and need help getting your medical card, let Green Health Docs help make the process easier.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.