Survey Finds Almost 70% of Doctors Believe Cannabis Has Therapeutic Value

A recent survey found that a majority of clinicians believe cannabis has medicinal value

According to one new investigation published last month, the overwhelming majority of American doctors believe cannabis has medicinal value. The results, published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, show that nearly 70% of physicians surveyed “believe cannabis has medicinal uses,” while just over 26% said they recommended marijuana for medical purposes. patients.

Cannabis beliefs and practices of clinicians

“Doctors who believe cannabis has medicinal values ​​are 5.9 times more likely to recommend medical cannabis to their patients,” wrote the researchers involved in the investigation. Beliefs about how medical cannabis is used would not necessarily match current scientific evidence. Almost two-thirds (60%) of clinicians surveyed erroneously reported the status of cannabis in their state ”.

They add, in conclusion: “The results suggest that although doctors believe cannabis has medicinal uses, they may not have a full understanding of the scientific evidence and may not accurately understand their state’s policies on cannabis use. legalization and use of cannabis. Since clinicians are responsible for recommending medicinal cannabis in most states that have legalized it, continuing education in the health effects of cannabis is warranted. “

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The results of the investigation are revealing, although probably not that surprising. Medicinal cannabis has been legalized in more than 30 US states, and professionals are convinced of its medicinal value.

The survey is based on data from “1,506 family physicians, internists, nurse practitioners and oncologists who responded to the DocStyles 2018 survey, an online panel survey of physicians. “

“The questions assessed the medicinal uses and practices of cannabis and assessed doctors’ knowledge of the legality of cannabis in their state. Logistic regression was used to assess multivariate correlates of cannabis questioning, rating, and recommendation, ”the researchers wrote to explain the methodology.

The authors said their research was one of the “first studies to assess the beliefs and practices of clinicians about medical cannabis in a multi-state sample from the United States.”

“The results of this study suggest that the highest prevalence conditions for which doctors indicated they believed cannabis could be used medicinally were science-based – pain, nausea, appetite activation. , anti-seizures and spasticity, ”they wrote.

Practitioners believe cannabis is beneficial, so politicians shouldn’t prevent access

Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, a indicated that the investigation was one reason why politicians and governments should not prevent patients from accessing medical cannabis.

“An overwhelming majority of patients and their providers agree that cannabis is a legitimate medicine. Politicians should not stand in their way by opposing efforts to allow healthcare professionals to recommend cannabis to their patients in cases where they believe it is therapeutically appropriate, ”said M Armentano in a press release.

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Survey results that indicate doctors believe cannabis has medical value also match public opinion, with polls consistently showing majorities support not only medical cannabis, but legalization of recreational use as well. of the pot.

Medical cannabis is also increasingly seen as a safer alternative to stronger prescription drugs. A survey released last month found that 61% of medical cannabis patients in Texas used the herb as a replacement for prescription drugs.

The survey was conducted by the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

“With the passage of the compassionate use law in 2015, the state of Texas officially recognized that cannabis is a medicine,” the survey authors explain. “Yet the vast majority of Texas patients are excluded from participation in the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) due to restrictions in state law. Our recent survey of 2,866 residents of Texas who use cannabis for medical purposes aimed to better understand the needs and experiences of this population. The survey was conducted online between August 11, 2020 and October 6, 2020, and recruited participants through medical cannabis patient networks. Twenty-two percent of the respondents were military veterans. “

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