Study: Medical Cannabis Use Doubled Between 2013 and 2020

Medical Cannabis

If you’ve ever wondered just how popular medical cannabis actually is, a recently released study should give you a basic idea. The study shows that, between the years 2013 and 2020, medical cannabis consumption in the U.S. doubled. There are now millions of people across the country using it.

Whether or not this is a good thing depends on your point of view. If you are a marijuana advocate or an actual medical cannabis patient yourself, you probably see it as a good thing. On the other hand, you might believe that cannabis has little to no medical value. You might consider it a bad thing that so many people consume it.

More About the Study

Researchers from a number of institutions, including Yale and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), crunched a bunch of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2013 through 2020. The annual survey specifically started asking about medical marijuana consumption in 2013. Survey respondents were asked to confirm whether they have used within the previous 12 months.

According to the research, just 1.2 percent of the respondents answered affirmatively in 2013. Seven years later, the positive response rate had jumped to 2.5 percent. Researchers say the impressive increase is likely the result of state legalization. That makes sense when you think about it. State legalization gives more people access to legal medical cannabis. That is the turning point for many who would not otherwise use the drug illegally.

A Booming Industry

State legalization has created a booming industry that is now active in nearly 40 states as well as the District of Columbia and multiple U.S. territories. Even highly conservative states like Utah are on board. That shows you just how effective the medical cannabis message has been in recent years.

Utah is among the states that still has not legalized recreational marijuana despite having approved medical cannabis. It also has one of the more conservative medical cannabis laws in the country. All cannabis consumed in the state must be cultivated and processed there. All medical cannabis products must be purchased from a licensed pharmacy, like the Beehive Farmacy in Brigham City.

Though Utah’s regulations are strict, patients still have access to a lot of good products. For example, Beehive Farmacy carries the well-known Cookies brand cannabis products. Cookies is a global brand with as a strong reputation as one can possibly earn in the marijuana business. Would the company be as strong today without state-legal medical cannabis?

Pain is the Leading Issue

Getting back to the original premise of this post, what has so many people turning to medical cannabis? Chronic pain continues to be the number one complaint cited by patients who ask their doctors for a medical cannabis recommendation. Marijuana is believed to work better than prescription medications for some patients.

Other conditions for which medical cannabis might be utilized include cancer, PTSD, seizure disorders, and conditions for which nausea is chronic. Cancer is especially curious because medical cannabis is not a cure for the disease. Instead, cannabis is recommended as a treatment for the symptoms of both the disease and the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

The march toward legal medical cannabis began back in the 1990s. Since then, dozens of states have given medical cannabis the green light. It should be no surprise that consumption has doubled in just the short amount of time it has been studied. Imagine what will happen when psychedelics are also made legal in the states. Their use will likely explode too.

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