More Studies Prove That Cannabis Improves Patients’ Quality Of Life
Individuals who suffer from many different kinds of medical conditions often have to comprise many aspects of their life. This is especially true when it comes to pain.
Pain conditions rob patients’ quality of life, making it difficult to live what they knew as a normal day to day life. Sleep, exercise, moods, relationships, and careers can all be affected when you are sick. Oftentimes, pharmaceutical medications that are prescribed as treatment can make it worse with their side effects.
This is especially true when patients suffer from chronic pain. Uncontrolled and ongoing pain severely deteriorates the quality of life, affecting nearly, if not all, aspects of life. No matter how old you are, pain can disturb normal functioning of your life – that’s why access to affordable and effective health care is important.
In fact, a study estimates that the incremental fees associated with health care because of pain amounts to some $261 up to 300 billion dollars. It also equates to loss in productivity, work days and work hours lost, resulting in lower wages.
And given that 20% of the US adult population suffers from chronic pain, while 8% suffer from some kind of high-impact chronic pain, this is a serious condition that must be addressed.
But studies show that cannabis not only helps treat pain and other illnesses – while improving overall quality of life.
A brand-new study conducted by a marijuana nonprofit advocacy group called Realm of Caring, together with investigators at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, backed up older studies showing that consuming medical cannabis has improved quality of life for patients who didn’t get any relief from traditional treatment. The study focused on how medical cannabis can help with neurological and pain related disorders.
Participants who already consume medical marijuana were asked to fill out anonymous questionnaires to share their experiences. There was a total of 808 subjects, and 77% of them acknowledged that there were positive effects from using medical cannabis: there were improvements in pain, sleep, and anxiety among 28%, 18%, and 22% of them respectively.
“Realm of Caring takes part in IRB-approved (Institutional Review Board) research to ensure we are truly helping individuals to improve their quality of life,” explains Realm of Caring’s Executive Director, Sasha Kalcheff-Korn. “This research spotlights several concerns that we actively address, such as providing information to the medical community, partnering with quality product companies for more affordable options, and providing free one-on-one support to alleviate unwanted side effects.”
In addition, the patients also disclosed the challenges they faced as patients using medical cannabis. Oftentimes, they struggle finding skilled medical providers who are informed in the proper cannabis dosages, strains, and consumption methods among others.
Many Other Studies Show Similar Findings
There have been many other studies done in the past that reveal how cannabis certainly improves patients’ quality of life.
Earlier this year, Brazilian researchers published the findings of a study on mental health as well as quality of life outcomes on cannabis users compared to non-users. The study, which were published in the medical journal, Journal of Psychiatric Research, followed 7,491 cannabis consumers and 839 who did not consume cannabis. The responses of participants were standardized using scales designed to analyze quality of life, anxiety, depression, and well-being.
The participants who self-identified as regular cannabis consumers reported the highest on scales; next were the occasional marijuana consumers. Both of these subject groups had higher scale scores compared to individuals who didn’t consume marijuana. Interestingly, people who said they had problematic cannabis use scored the lowest.
“Even after controlling for possible confounders such as demographics and the use of other psychoactive drugs, occasional or habitual self-perception of cannabis use remained associated with better outcomes of quality of life and mental health,” said the authors.
“The results obtained in this study are particularly relevant because they were obtained from a sample predominantly composed of habitual cannabis users from the general population, a group less frequently represented in other surveys,” the authors concluded. “It is possible that these adverse outcomes, generally described in many other studies, may be due to publication bias or the fact that our survey data collection strategy predominantly targeted recreational cannabis users,” they said.
Data shows, even seniors report better quality of life outcomes when they use cannabis for medical purposes. Individuals over the age of 60 are more prone to age-related illness as well as challenges in other areas of life due to age, as well as restrictions in movement caused by pain and many factors.
In a 2020 study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois together with investigators at the University of Iowa polled seniors about their medical marijuana consumption as well as self-reported changes after a year of use. According to researchers, there was a “strong positive association” when it came to the frequency of marijuana use and improvements when it came to health care use, pain, and general quality of life.
“We identified a strong positive association between higher frequency of cannabis use and improvement in HRQL and HCU [health-care utilization] scores….” reported the authors. “Our regression modelling also identified a strong positive relationship between higher frequency of cannabis use and self-reported improvements to pain symptoms. The positive relationship between near-daily use and improved reports offers further evidence of the perceived value of medical cannabis as a therapeutic approach for pain management.”
Given the studies and all the anecdotal evidence out there, it’s clear that marijuana brings hope to individuals whose lives are compromised because of pain and other illnesses. Legalizing cannabis nationwide will help improve the lives of millions of people who are impacted by pain and reduced quality of life. Stop taking pharmaceuticals because they don’t work – cannabis does!