Many users prefer medical marijuana over prescription drugs

Many users prefer medical marijuana over prescription drugs
Credit: University of Michigan

As more states legalize cannabis consumption, many more people will likely use medical marijuana as a supplement to or substitution for prescription drugs, says a University of Michigan researcher.

A new study by Daniel Kruger of the U-M Institute for Social Research found that 44 percent of users stopped taking a pharmaceutical drug, or used less of one, or both, in favor of cannabis.

Kruger and co-author Jessica Kruger, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Buffalo, conducted the study to assess attitudes and use of medical cannabis and the mainstream care system—described as either a doctor or hospital—among marijuana users.

In general, people use to treat pain, back problems, depression and headaches. Nearly a third of the study's participants (30 percent) said their mainstream health care provider did not know that they used medical cannabis, indicating gaps between the two treatment systems.

The researchers administered surveys to 450 adults who identified as current cannabis users at an annual public event advocating for marijuana law reform. The event occurred at U-M, in a state where medical cannabis use became legal in 2008.

From the 392 usable responses, the majority (78 percent) reported using marijuana to help treat a medical or health condition. Users also had more trust in medical cannabis compared to mainstream health care, in part, because they rated better than pharmaceutical drugs on effectiveness, side effects, availability and cost.

Many users prefer medical marijuana over prescription drugs
Credit: University of Michigan

"This study advances knowledge in the evidence-based approach to harm reduction and benefit promotion regarding medical cannabis," said Daniel Kruger, a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. "Given the growing use of cannabis for medical purposes and the widespread use for recreation purposes despite criminalization, the current public health framework focusing primarily on cannabis abstinence appears obsolete."

The findings appear in the current issue of Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

  • Many users prefer medical marijuana over prescription drugs
    Credit: University of Michigan
  • Many users prefer medical marijuana over prescription drugs
    Credit: University of Michigan

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More information: Daniel J. Kruger et al. Medical Cannabis Users' Comparisons between Medical Cannabis and Mainstream Medicine, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (2019). DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2018.1563314
Citation: Many users prefer medical marijuana over prescription drugs (2019, January 15) retrieved 21 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-users-medical-marijuana-prescription-drugs.html
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mqr
Jan 15, 2019
Big pharma is attacking cannabis with all their guns, they are not going to let the "stoners" to take their trillions. They know how to attack them way better than the US government has done, they have a higher control on the scientists than anyone. And they also control governments.

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