Pain Patients Dominate Medical Cannabis Programs

  • Across states having legalized medical cannabis, pain is the most widely cited condition for its use.
  • Among five key state programs, nearly 90% of registered medical cannabis patients report chronic or severe pain as the primary illness being treated.
  • Pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and muscle spasticity, respectively, are the top three most commonly cited conditions reported by patients seeking medical cannabis use.
  • Patient-reported efficacy of cannabis is leading a growing number of consumers to substitute pharmaceuticals — including opioids — for medical cannabis.
  • In markets featuring low barriers to patient entry and physicians can prescribe for any condition, the percentages of cases citing pain or anxiety are likely to be high.
  • In the first year of its program, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has enrolled more than 3.5% of the state’s population as patients; the agency attributes the stronger-than-expected participation rate to minimal financial obstacles and the lack of qualifying restrictions.