Study Shows Chronic Pain Most Common Reason For Using Medical Cannabis

There are numerous medicinal properties associated with the cannabis plant, and more are being discovered as continued legalization begins to give way to expanded medical marijuana research.

But while there are a variety of medicinal uses for cannabis, a new report from the University of Michigan says that chronic pain is the most common reason patients give when they register for state programs.

By analyzing state registry data from across the country, researchers found that chronic pain topped the list of qualifying conditions at 64.9 percent in 2016.

They also compared the prevalence of qualifying conditions with recent evidence from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report regarding the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating each condition.

Using patient number data from registries in twenty states and the District of Columbia, and information on patient-reported qualifying conditions, researchers found that chronic pain is currently, and has historically been the most commonly reported reason for enrollment in medical cannabis programs.

“Of all patient-reported qualifying conditions, 85.5 percent had either substantial or conclusive evidence of therapeutic efficacy,” write the study’s authors. “As medical cannabis use continues to increase, creating a nationwide patient registry would facilitate better understanding of trends in use and of its potential effectiveness.”

The report’s abstract states that there is widely-varying evidence for the efficacy of cannabis treatment across different conditions there is a lack of comprehensive data on the ones for which people use cannabis medicinally.