It is generally accepted that chronic pain is the number one reason U.S. patients use Medical Cannabis. But when you break the data down state-by-state, you discover that there are many other reasons above and beyond chronic pain. Furthermore, chronic pain is not even the prevailing reason in some states. Look at the data in detail and you may be surprised.
The Cannigma, an Israeli research organization that specializes in cannabis issues, recently published a post citing data from a study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research. That study investigated nearly three dozen Medical Cannabis clinics in five different states to determine what patients were citing as their reasons for using cannabis.
They then went ahead and did their own study looking at five different states across the country. Surprisingly, the top few reasons patients cited for using Medical Cannabis were not consistent across all ten states. Why that seems to be the case is not clear.
Chronic pain is a big reason for using Medical Cannabis. It was the number one reason cited by patients in Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Arkansas. For the record, chronic pain is classified as pain that lasts for three months or more. It can occur daily or nearly every day.
This part of the data probably isn't surprising to you. We hear about people using Medical Cannabis to deal with chronic pain all the time. It is the most common qualifying condition for Medical Cannabis patients in Utah. But what about the other reasons? Is there anything else that competes with chronic pain in terms of sheer numbers?
A significant number of Medical Cannabis users rely on the drug to help manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The disorder occurs in people who have experienced some sort of traumatic event. For whatever reason, their brains are unable to successfully deal with memories of that event in such a way as to allow patients to live their lives unaffected by it.
It turns out that PTSD is the most-cited reason for using Medical Cannabis in Connecticut. It also tops the list in New Mexico, while coming in second place in Arkansas and third place in Oregon.
Treating anxiety was the most common reason cited in Massachusetts. Anxiety is the second most cited reason in Maine and Connecticut. Overall, anxiety was the number two reason cited by patients in the Journal of Cannabis Research study.
Cancer also ranks high on the list. In some cases, cancer patients use cannabis to help deal with the nausea and vomiting associated with treatment. Other times, it is a treatment for cancer pain. Unfortunately, cancer patients experience pain as a result of both the disease and its treatment. Many consider Medical Cannabis a lifeline.
We cannot speak to the laws in other states, but we do know that Utah has a well-defined list of qualifying conditions for which Medical Cannabis is appropriate. Our main priority here at utahmarijuana.org is helping patients obtain their Medical Cannabis Cards. We are owned and operated by the Utah Therapeutic Health Center, an organization that operates six clinics throughout the state.
Our position is that your reasons for using Medical Cannabis are between you and your QMP. No one else needs to know. Should you decide to share that information, that is your choice. But as long as your condition is on the state list and Medical Cannabis is an appropriate way to treat it, we can help you get your card.
Utah regulations are pretty simple in terms of the qualifying conditions for Medical Cannabis. Chronic pain is a big one. PTSD and cancer-related pain are pretty common among patients as well. Regardless of the particular condition being treated, the one thing patients have in common is that Medical Cannabis helps them take their lives back.
We think that's probably the biggest benefit of cannabis as a medicine. Look, we take medicines because we have health conditions that prevent us from living normally, whatever that means. A lot of the medications we take are only intended to help us feel better. So why would Medical Cannabis be any different?
Thousands of patients have come to us for help in getting their Medical Marijuana cards. They want the cards because they want to take their lives back from whatever illness or condition is keeping them from their “normal.” The same opportunity is available to you, if you have a qualifying condition.
In episode 65 of the Utah in the Weeds podcast, our very own Tim Pickett joined co-host Chris Holifield to talk with a Utah Medical Cannabis patient currently in recovery from cancer. This wonderful woman has been using cannabis not only to find relief from cancer pain, but to also get on with her life.
You might find this particular episode of Utah in the Weeds helpful if you are still on the fence about Medical Cannabis. In a nutshell, the podcast discussion centers around an average Utah patient whose life has been forever altered by one of the most feared diseases in the world.
Interestingly, the patient remarked about how she had tried other medications for PTSD in the past. She didn't like them because they prevented her from working. These days, Medical Cannabis helps her with cancer pain and PTSD simultaneously. She and her significant other are preparing to take a year-long road trip to get away from all things cancer and sell her art. The trip is only possible because Medical Cannabis has allowed her to take her life back.
People think it's cool that Utah has greenlighted Medical Marijuana. We don't disagree. But really, it's not about marijuana or cannabis itself. It's about you being in control of both your healthcare and your life. Having access to Medical Marijuana gives you better control of how you feel at any given time.
You can work with your Qualified Medical Provider (QMP) and Pharmacy Medical Provider (PMP) to figure out what works best for you. Maybe you are going to vape during the day and use gummies at night. Perhaps you'll figure out that layering really doesn't work for you. That’s OK, because everyone has a unique experience with cannabis.
The thing that makes Medical Cannabis different is that you are free to work with medical professionals to come up with the best possible solution. You're not just handed a prescription with directions for how to take it. With Medical Cannabis, you are not popping pills and hoping for the best.
If you're ready to take your life back from whatever condition you suffer with, the first step is meeting with a QMP. That's what we do here at Utahmarijuana.org. Our QMPs meet with patients to talk about their qualifying conditions and how Medical Marijuana might help. We also help patients get their cards.
Come on in and visit us at any one of our Utah locations. Let us have a discussion about how Medical Cannabis could help you. A chat with one of our QMPs is the first step on the journey to taking your life back.