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More People in the US Using Cannabis for Medical Needs, Study Says

A new study has reported that most Americans used marijuana to help them relieve medical symptoms instead of just using weed to get high.

The results say that 46 percent of those who use weed says that they do because of an existing medical condition, while 22 percent state that they use pot for recreation. Additionally, the researchers have found that 36 percent of people with medical concerns use weed to get high in comparison with 58 percent of other cannabis users.

According to the lead researcher, Hongying “Daisy” Dai, “Adults with medical conditions have an increased risk of using marijuana, especially those with respiratory diseases, cancer, and depression.” Dai is an associate professor in the College of Public Health from Omaha’s University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Additionally, Dai sees that the currently available data is still too little to give full trust of cannabis for health use. She advises patients who are taking medical marijuana to commit to the studies and findings regarding the efficacy and unfavorable effects of cannabis concerning their diseases.

Dai also said that people who use recreational marijuana should also watch out for possible adverse effects on their health of constant cannabis consumption.

For reference, the negative side effects of cannabis include blood pressure changes, breathing problems, impaired memory, concentration changes, hallucinations, nausea, increased heart rates, and sudden mood changes.

At present, medical marijuana is allowed for use in 33 US states and the District of Columbia. In Dai’s study, their team collected information from 169,000 people in the US who answered their questions via phone calls in 2016 and 2017.

Some more results state that pot use was higher in young adults compared to older ones. Young adults use medical marijuana, particularly for illnesses like cancer, depression, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma.

According to the results, 25 percent of medical marijuana users are from the ages of 18 to 24, while 2 percent are of those aged 65 and up. In terms of smoking cannabis daily, 11 percent are young adults, while 1 percent are seniors.

Additionally, though cannabis is available in the market through its many forms, 3 out of 4 people have said that they have consumed through smoking.

Because of this research results, Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, has stated his concerns even though he was not a part of the study.

Dr. Katz says, “Since marijuana use in association with medical conditions is higher in adolescents and young adults, and then declines, it suggests that many such attempts at self-medication fail over time, raising the concern that trials with marijuana may delay the use of more effective treatments.”

He says that doctors should be effectively screening their younger patients, so they will better understand that undergoing cannabis treatments have risks, aside from their benefits.

Finally, he states, “We also need better public education on the topic, so young adults don’t mistake the limited medical pros and important cons of this drug for a panacea.”

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