Study: Pain Patients Report Significant Health Improvements Following Enactment of Medical Cannabis Access Laws

Philadelphia, PA: Those suffering from chronic pain report significant improvements in health following the passage of medical cannabis access laws, according to data published in the journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

Researchers affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and the Perelman School of Medicine assessed the impact of medical cannabis legalization laws on self-reported health outcomes.

Investigators reported that pain patients were the group most likely to report health benefits following medical cannabis enactment. They determined: “A MML (medical marijuana law) and protected dispensaries positively affected the health of individuals suffering from chronic pain by reducing the days not in good physical health, days not in good mental health, and days with health-related limitations. … [T]hese effects translate into reduction in the number of days with health-related issues between 14 percent and 23 percent.”

They concluded: “Individuals who report having pain that limits their daily activity see large health improvements. This is the strongest evidence that a group with a high probability of pain medication use sees large benefits from medical marijuana laws.”

Separate studies – such as those here, here, and here – consistently report that pain patients reduce their use of opioids following access to medical cannabis therapy. Among state-licensed medical cannabis registrants, two out of three report consuming cannabis to mitigate pain conditions.

Full text of the study, “The impact of medical marijuana laws and dispensaries on self-reported health,” appears in Forum for Health Economics & Policy.