A huge amount of medical marijuana patients say they have successfully traded traditional medications for cannabis, according to a new study.
We already know that two of the biggest reasons why patients turn to medical marijuana are help sleeping and pain relief. And according to a new study, many of those individuals are now using cannabis to replace other prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Researchers from the University of Miami surveyed 1,000 people who purchased cannabis from two different dispensaries in Colorado. The vast majority of these people stated they consumed cannabis either as a sleep aid (74 percent) or as a means of pain relief (65 percent).
While these high numbers suggest that a lot of people are using cannabis as a medicinal product, what is more significant is just how well these individuals believe cannabis worked for them.
Of the individuals who used cannabis for sleep, 84 percent found cannabis helpful. 83 percent found cannabis to be so effective that they either reduced or stopped taking other sleep aids.
Results were similar among the crowd using cannabis for pain. 80 percent of those people found cannabis to be a very effective pain treatment, while 82 percent reported they had reduced or stopped using over-the-counter meds and a huge 88 percent said they has stopped using opioid painkillers.
Of course, the study authors admit their work has it's own issues. The results were not verified against actual medical or prescription records. The survey results may also be susceptible to "social desirability bias," where respondents say what they think the researchers want to hear.
Still, it's an encouraging step towards understanding both why people use medical marijuana and how well it actually works.