Survey: Cannabis Use Common Among Patients with Rheumatic Diseases

Wichita, KS: Patients with rheumatic diseases – such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis – are increasingly turning to cannabis for symptom management, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

Investigators with The National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases surveyed over 11,000 patients enrolled in the registry about their use of cannabis. Eighteen percent of those surveyed in 2019 acknowledged having used cannabis, up from only 6 percent of respondents in 2014. Of those who reported consuming cannabis, over six in ten acknowledged that it was "helpful in relieving symptoms." Cannabis using patients were more likely to report suffering from more severe disease symptom than were non-users.

"Reported cannabis use among patients with rheumatic diseases has increased significantly, and most patients stated it was helpful for symptom relief," authors concluded.

An abstract of the study, "Cannabis use among patients in a large US rheumatic disease registry," appears online.