Cannabis has long been used as a medicine for a myriad of conditions. There are mentions of the medicinal use of cannabis in texts dating back hundreds of years. As the legalization of cannabis continues to occur at a rapid rate and popular opinion shifts in its favor, it is important that we examine the most popular of the many medical cannabis treatments and why they are used.
Who Uses Cannabis Medicinally
The Washington Post found that, “More than half of all American adults have tried marijuana at least once in their lives.” Though it is hard to directly account for the number of individuals nationwide who have used medicinal cannabis, a survey conducted in California by the National Institutes of Health and the Public Health Institute can provide a glimpse at what medical cannabis use rates look like. The survey found that,
“Five percent of adults in California reported ever using medical marijuana, and most users believed that medical marijuana helped alleviate symptoms or treat a serious medical condition.” The NIH survey found that of those medical cannabis patients, “92 percent said that medical marijuana alleviated symptoms of their serious medical conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, and cancer.”
The survey also found that young people have used cannabis medicinally at a much higher rate than all other age groups. More than 9% of 18-24 year olds and 5.5% of 25-34 year olds admitted to using cannabis as a medicine. Seniors are still cautious as only 2.19% of Californians age 65 or older have used medical cannabis.
Conditions Relieved by Medical Cannabis Treatments
Chronic pain is one of the conditions most commonly relieved by medical cannabis treatments. The NIH survey found that more than 31% of medical cannabis patients used cannabis to treat chronic pain. The combination of cannabinoids THC and CBD can be an incredible pain and inflammation reliever.
While cannabis is enjoyed by many for its pain-relieving qualities, it is also used to treat other ailments such as arthritis and cancer. Nearly 11% of all medical cannabis patients in California used it to treat arthritis. CBD is especially potent in relieving the debilitating symptoms of arthritis suffered by many over the age of 40. While still a seemingly small minority, the 6.75% of California medical cannabis patients who were treating cancer are paving the way for others who may soon attempt to utilize the appetite-increasing and cancer cell fighting qualities of cannabis and the many compounds within it.
Medical cannabis treatments are being used at higher rates than ever before. The National Institutes of Health survey conducted in California establishes the notion that people from a variety of backgrounds are using cannabis to treat a variety of conditions. It is important for Americans to understand who is using cannabis and why in order to better understand the nature of medical cannabis use.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He spends his free time playing guitar and walking on the beach. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.