Patient Understanding of Cannabis Still Ahead of Doctors

Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2018 -
Image Marijuana & Business

The following study is an excellent cross-sectional opportunistic survey of users, conducted during the annual hash bash held on University of Michigan campus. Participants were surveyed by a group from the Institute for Social Research (at U of M), where my survey work was based while I was at University of Michigan between 1986 and 1993. This is the same institute that conducts the annual national study of high school students' drug use and attitudes known as the Monitoring the Future survey. h

Setting aside fact that the participants were recruited from attendees at a marijuana legalization event, and the event is held in Ann Arbor, where the original $5 fine for marijuana possession was adopted in early 1980s as part of an effort to increase the credibility of public health messaging about the dangers of “hard drugs,” the results are very interesting, in my opinion.

I see this as a very good example of how CBM patients' attitudes and beliefs about the efficacy of cannabis for a variety of common ailments. The primary reason identified for cannabis use was pain, many using cannabis in place of opioid analgesics. In this sense, these users are way ahead of the majority of physicians. At least 30% reported that their use of CBM was unknown by their personal physicians. On other hand, a very small percentage of respondents (1-4%) knew the THC:CBD content of the cannabis they used for the conditions reported.

This is more proof that a patient’s subjective accounts are important in any observational study of cannabis Therapeutics and how attitudes, beliefs and expectations of users strongly influence their reports of the  efficacy and safety of CBMs.


Medical Cannabis Users’ Comparisons between Medical Cannabis and Mainstream Medicine

Daniel J. Kruger, Ph.D. & Jessica S. Kruger, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT: An evidence-based approach is needed to shape policies and practices regarding medical cannabis, thereby reducing harm and maximizing benefits to individuals and society. This project assesses attitudes towards and utilization of medical cannabis and the mainstream healthcare system among medical cannabis users. The research team administered brief hard copy surveys to 450 adults attending an annual public event advocating for cannabis law reform. Among usable responses (N = 392), the majority (78%) reported using cannabis to help treat a medical or health condition. Medical cannabis users reported a greater degree of use of medical cannabis and a greater degree of trust in medical cannabis compared to mainstream healthcare. In comparison to pharmaceutical drugs, medical cannabis users rated cannabis better on effectiveness, side effects, safety, addictiveness, availability, and cost. Due to the medical use of cannabis, 42% stopped taking a pharmaceutical drug and 38% used less of a pharmaceutical drug. A substantial proportion (30%) reported that their mainstream healthcare provider did not know that they used medical cannabis. Other issues identified included lack of access to mainstream healthcare, self-initiated treatment of health issues, little knowledge of psychoactive content, and heavy cannabis use. READ MORE...