A study published last month in the journal Clinical Therapeutics found that 91% of military veterans who use medical cannabis said it improved their quality of life. Most participants in the self-reported survey said they used cannabis daily.
The survey, which included 510 U.S. military veterans, found 38% of respondents had chronic pain, 26% suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, 9% reported having anxiety, and 5% suffered from depression. Many respondents said they consumed cannabis to reduce the use of over-the-counter medications (30%), including antidepressants (25%), anti-inflammatories (17%), and other prescription medications. Additionally, 21% of respondents reported using fewer opioids as a result of their medical cannabis use.
“Medicinal cannabis use was reported to improve quality of life and reduce unwanted medication use by many of the study participants. The present findings indicate that medicinal cannabis can potentially play a harm-reduction role, helping veterans to use fewer pharmaceutical medications and other substances. Clinicians should be mindful of the potential associations between race, sex, and combat experience and the intentions for and frequency of medicinal cannabis use.” — “Self-reported Medicinal Cannabis Use as an Alternative to Prescription and Over-the-counter Medication Use Among US Military Veterans,” Clinical Therapeutics, June 2023
The study’s authors said the findings “should inform clinicians who work with the veteran population, as cannabis may be an effective means of helping veterans, especially women and racially minoritized members of this population, to reduce unwanted medication use.”
Among the participants, most identified as White (78%), followed by Latino or Hispanic (6%), Black (4%), and “other” (4%), while 9% of respondents preferred not to answer. Eighty-two percent of the respondents were men, 16% were women, and 2% preferred not to select a sex.
The study included researchers from Boston, Massachusetts’ Cannabis Center of Excellence Inc.; the University of Utah; Rider University in New Jersey; Mansfield, Massachusetts-based Joint Venture & Co.; and the University of Massachusetts.
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe