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Does cannabis really work? The results of a recent study may surprise you.

Does cannabis really work? The results of a recent study may surprise you.

At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re proud to be part of the cannabis as medicine movement. We passionately believe cannabis is effective because we’ve seen its impact in the quality of our own lives and the quality of our patients’ lives. Since cannabis has been illegal for so long, there is a fundamental lack of credible research that clinically proves its effectiveness.

In 2016, four doctors conducted an anonymous online survey of 1,429 people who identified as medical cannabis users. The survey consisted of 44 questions that were a combination of yes/no, multiple choice and rating scales as well as three open-ended questions. The survey participants were informed of the survey through a Facebook page, flyers distributed at cannabis dispensaries in Washington state and banner ads on the websites of Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy and Bastyr University. 45% of the respondents were female and 55% were male and they ranged in age from 15-80. The survey covered a wide range of education levels from current junior high school students all the way up to PHD level.  Not surprisingly, income levels also varied between less than $20,000 per year to $150,000+. Nearly half the respondents were employed full time while 21% worked part time and 200 of the participants identified as disabled.

Overall, the survey attracted a group of people from diverse backgrounds that mirrored the types of patients we serve every day at Revolutionary Clinics. Unfortunately, there was one stark exception, 86.5% of the respondents were white. We would have preferred to have seen more representation from the African American and Hispanic communities. That’s a pretty big miss from our perspective but given all the things the survey participants have in common with our patients, we still view this survey as extremely relatable.

With all that in mind, here are the all the most interesting facts, stats and revelations about “patterns of use and perceived efficacy”:

86% of the survey respondents reported that cannabis improved their conditions

At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re very familiar with the power of cannabis to improve quality of life but even we were blown away by this statistic. 86% is a big number, especially when you consider all the different types of conditions the people in the survey were using cannabis for (more on that in the next paragraph). By comparison, in a recent Revolutionary Clinics blog post about cannabis for fibromyalgia, 62% of patients surveyed found relief from their symptoms. That’s still encouraging, but you can see why 86% is such a big deal.

The survey respondents used cannabis to relieve a wide range of medical conditions

From anxiety and depression to pain and nausea relief, the survey participants reported progress on a lot of the same conditions that Revolutionary Clinics’ patients visit our dispensaries for. The chart below illustrates the conditions that the respondents reported the most effective relief.

(Effectiveness graphic)

The most interesting part of this graphic is how few patients reported worsening of symptoms. That’s good news for new patients who are interested in trying cannabis but want more proof of its effectiveness.

The most frequently reported conditions the survey respondents used cannabis for are the same conditions that bring most patients to Revolutionary Clinics

Here’s the summary of the medical conditions the survey participants claimed to be using cannabis to treat:

  • Pain = 61.2%
  • Anxiety = 58.1%
  • Depression = 50.3%
  • Headache/Migraine = 35.5%
  • Nausea = 27.4%
  • Muscle Spasticity = 18.4%

At Revolutionary Clinics, we maintain strict confidentiality with all of our patients. However, we’re comfortable sharing that the list above bears a strong resemblance to the conditions we assist our patients with every day. There are a lot of frustrated people out there who are living with chronic pain and anxiety because traditional medical care hasn’t been able to help them. If you’re one of those people, we hope the statistics above show you that you’re not alone and inspire you to start a conversation with us about how medical marijuana may be able to help you.

Nearly 60% of medical marijuana users in the survey claimed they substitute cannabis for prescription medications

Wow. At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re big advocates of cannabis as a substitute to opioids that can be addictive and put patients at risk for overdose so this statistic really spoke to us.  It’s encouraging to see so many people experience such effective relief from their symptoms that they’re able to stop taking their other medications. As the Opioid Crisis continues to dominate headlines, this survey offers credible support for cannabis as an alternative.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read our blog. If you have on anything we’ve covered or suggestions for our next topic, please fill out the form on our website and we’ll get right back to you!

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