Are people who use hemp and medical cannabis for their health concerns happier than those who don’t? The results of one study say yes. Over 1000 participants registered for the study conducted by Realm of Caring, a non-profit supporting the use of hemp-based products and medical marijuana. It was overseen by associate professor Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., from the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The study consisted of a series of surveys administered every three months between April 2016 and February 2018. Of the 1200-plus patients, 808 were regular cannabis and hemp users, and 468 were individuals who had not used cannabis. They were asked questions about their level of pain, mental and physical health, and if they had been admitted to a hospital or emergency room in the preceding weeks.
By all accounts, the participants who were regular users appeared to be healthier and better off physically and mentally than those who did not partake. One of the most telling indications of the benefits of medical cannabis was that non-users who only started using it during the study reported significantly improved health and felt better in general than when the study began. CBD (cannabidiol) was the primary ingredient in products used by over half of those surveyed.
There were three categories of participants:
- Those with products by neurological disorders like MS and epilepsy
- Those with psychiatric complaints such as PTSD and depression and anxiety
- Those with chronic pain conditions like back pain and fibromyalgia.
The patients who used cannabis reported improved sleep, more comfortability, and more satisfaction with their health and quality of life. They were also 46% less likely to have been admitted to the hospital and 39% less likely to have visited the ER. Many reported that they were using fewer prescription medications than those who did not use cannabis at all.
The study is expected to be the first of many to analyze various outcomes among different demographics and age groups. The full study has been peer-reviewed, and it was published by the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research on June 8, 2020.