Study: Most Patients Prefer Herbal Cannabis Over Marijuana-Based Pharmaceuticals

Study: Most Patients Prefer Herbal Cannabis Over Marijuana-Based Pharmaceuticals

Leiden, The Netherlands: Subjects who consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes prefer herbal forms of the plant to pharmaceutically produced derivatives, according to survey data published in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Investigators from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States conducted a web-based survey consisting of 21 structured questions to assess patients’ perceptions of different types of cannabinoid-based medicinal products as well as their preferred modes of consumption. Over 950 subjects took part in the survey.

A majority of survey participants reported that herbal cannabis preparations were more cost-effective and posed fewer side effects than cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals, such as Marinol or nabilone. Participants were also more likely to report greater satisfaction with inhaled (via either smoking or vaporizing) forms of cannabis products as compared to products that required oral dosing.

"Cannabis smoking, closely followed by vaporizing, scored highest for satisfaction with ease of dose titration, while oral use of cannabinoids scored lowest," authors reported. "This [result] may be because rapid onset of effects of inhaled cannabinoid use allows easier titration of dose."

Investigators concluded: "In general, herbal non-pharmaceutical CBMs (cannabinoid-based medicines) received higher appreciation scores by participants than pharmaceutical products containing cannabinoids. … [O]ur data suggest that overall there is good satisfaction with whole plant preparations that are affordable and administered in an inhaled manner, or in the form of a tincture."

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, "The Medicinal Use of Cannabis and Cannabinoids – An International Cross-Sectional Survey on Administration Forms," appears in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.