Patients show better health functioning and reduced opioid use with medical cannabis

This study included over 2,000 medical cannabis patients from Florida and was published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse in September 2022. It was approved by the Florida State University College of Medicine Institutional Review Board.

The patients completed a detailed cross-sectional survey that included medication usage items, along with items from the Medical Outcomes Survey (SF-36) to assess health functioning before and after starting cannabinoid-based medicine. The surveys were anonymously collected between August and October 2018.

The sample was skewed to white patients (85%) with about 54% women and 27% disabled. Their ages were fairly evenly distributed between 30 and 60 years old.

The predominant reasons for medical cannabis use were pain and/or mental health. 76% reported treating 3 or more ailments. Well over 90% of the patients reported using medical cannabis at least once a day.

Health functioning improved in areas of bodily pain, physical functioning, and social functioning after medical cannabis use was initiated
   
Most (90.59%) reported that medical cannabis was very or extremely helpful when dealing with their medical condition; less than 2% reported it as slightly or not helpful at all.
   
Over 85% reported medical cannabis products were very or extremely important to their quality of life (88.67%).
   

Comparisons of the pre- and post- scores using paired t-tests indicated significant differences after initiation of medical cannabis use, with all health functioning domain scores showing significant improvement.

the results from this large sample indicate that medical cannabis may play important roles at both the individual and community level by being a viable alternative to opioids when managing pain.  

 

The full text report is here at Taylor & Francis Online.