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Two New Studies Show Cannabis Treatment Alleviates Symptoms with Less Side Effects

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Two University of New Mexico (UNM) studies recently shared data pulled from a medical cannabis app, and it indicates that cannabis can alleviate symptoms from a variety of conditions.

“Patient-Reported Symptom Relief Following Medical Cannabis Consumption,” published in Frontiers in Pharmacology and “Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions” published in the journal Medicines both used data from the Releaf app, which has had over 100,000 users track their experiences with medical cannabis.

“Observational studies are more appropriate than experimental research designs for measuring how patients choose to consume cannabis and the effects of those choices,” said UNM Department of Psychology Associate Professor Jacob Miguel Vigil. “By collecting massive amounts of patient-entered information on actual cannabis used under real-life circumstances we are able to measure why patients consume cannabis, the types of products that patients use, and the immediate and longer-term effects of such use. In other words, many of the important and practical research questions that randomized controlled trials fail to address.”

In the Frontiers study, medical cannabis consumers suffering from a total of 27 different conditions reported alleviated symptoms significantly. On a scale from zero to 10, patients reported a 2.8-4.6 reduction of symptoms on the Releaf app. The Medicines study searched how cannabis helped with insomnia. Again using the data from the Releaf app, consumers reported a 4.5 reduction in symptom severity. The study discovered that cannabis consumers who consumed using pipes and vaporizers experienced more relief from their symptoms, and those who vaped had less negative effects from the treatment.

The release indicated that 94 percent of consumers who tracked their medical cannabis usage on the Releaf app reported that the intensity of their symptoms was reduced after consuming cannabis. Furthermore, the use of medical cannabis was also associated with non-serious side effects, a change from the intense side effects of many prescription drugs.

“If the results found in our studies can be extrapolated to the general population, cannabis could systematically replace multi-billion dollar medication industries around the world. It is likely already beginning to do so,” said Vigil.