Survey Analyzes Americans’ View of Medical Cannabis

A new national survey recently collected citizens’ opinions on cannabis, and most of the participants showed strong support for the medical benefits of cannabis in lieu of study-based evidence.

The survey, published on Annals of Internal Medicine and conducted by a collection of Northern California universities and Columbia University in New York, interviewed a total of 9,003 adults. Of those individuals, an estimated two-thirds stated that even with little evidence in terms of official studies that they believe cannabis can help treat pain. “The most common benefit cited was pain management (66 percent), followed by treatment of diseases, such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (48 percent), and relief from anxiety, stress, and depression (47 percent),” the study’s abstract states. “About 91 percent of U.S. adults believe marijuana has at least one risk, whereas 9 percent believe it has no risks. The most common risk identified by the public was legal problems (51.8 percent), followed by addiction (50 percent) and impaired memory (42 percent).” The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

These results are not ground-breaking, but do exhibit how Americans across the country are discovering the benefits of cannabis first hand. Unfortunately, this hasn’t convinced some researchers the study’s results concerns some researchers such as Senior Academic Director of Addiction Medicine Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Antoine Douaihy (who was not an author of the study). “I am not surprised at all. At the same time, I’m a little bit disturbed,” he told The Inquirer. Douaihy believes that there isn’t enough education being provide to the public regarding possible risks, and that’s largely because there aren’t enough studies being conducted.

But just over the past six months, more studies are both beginning and concluding. In May, the Food and Drug Administration approve a cannabis study for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the same month, the University of California, San Diego received $5 in funding to study cannabis’ effect on people with autism. An early January study concluded that medical cannabis is a great substitute for alcohol. Again in January, Schizophrenia patients were found to benefit from the use of CBD.

While these studies take time to fund, organize and conduct, the study of cannabis and its numerous effects will continue to be analyzed.

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