Patients reporting better quality of life after using medical marijuana

By Greg Hamilton • Published: October 4th, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

While a lot of attention is being focused on the passage and implementation of new laws legalizing marijuana for medical use, not much has been shared yet about the effectiveness of the drug for treating certain conditions. Now a new study finds medical marijuana users are reporting better health outcomes than non-users, and those with epilepsy are reporting particularly better results.

A survey-based study by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found medical pot users reported significantly better overall quality of life, less depression, better sleep, fewer visits to the emergency department and fewer sick days when compared with non-users. People being treated for epilepsy reported better satisfaction in all these areas.

The researchers surveyed 874 people, users and non-users. Most of the users had at least a high school diploma, the majority were female and white, and the mean age was 38. The most common health issues cited were neurological disorders, chronic pain and neuropsychiatric disorders.

The use of medical marijuana is exploding around the country, and the authors noted that the medical community and science are playing catch-up. While the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have sanctioned only three medical uses for cannabis, a combined 29 states have endorsed marijuana use for 58 conditions.

Another point that concerned the researchers: More than half the epilepsy patients reported they did not seek a doctor’s recommendation before using cannabis. They urged physicians to discuss cannabis use with their patients because, they point out, they’re using it anyway.