Medical News Now title Medical marijuana users should be paid for the technology they use, says new report article Medical Today article Medical marijuana usage may have an economic impact on state coffers, but a recent study suggests it may also be contributing to a public health problem.
A new study by researchers at UC Davis found that medical marijuana users in California may be paying for the medical technology that they use.
The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.
“We found that the state’s marijuana population has grown from about 1,000 to nearly 8,000 in a short period of time, and the proportion of users using medical marijuana to reduce pain has gone up,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. David R. Kamin, an assistant professor of clinical psychology and of biomedical sciences at UC Berkeley.
“The state’s overall medical marijuana program may be helping to increase marijuana use by increasing the likelihood of using marijuana for a chronic condition, but there are clear risks associated with marijuana use that need to be addressed.”
The study was conducted with data from the California Health Information System and the California Department of Public health.
Kabin’s team analyzed data from 2008 to 2012, when California became the first state in the country to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate.
The survey was conducted by the UC Davis Medical Center, which is also a center of the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry.
“Our findings suggest that the number of patients who use marijuana for chronic pain is increasing, and that marijuana use for this condition is increasing,” said Kamin.
“There is a direct relationship between increased use of medical marijuana and increased use for chronic conditions such as chronic pain.”
The researchers also found that while medical marijuana use may be increasing in California, it is also contributing to the state health crisis.
“As patients with chronic pain seek out marijuana as an alternative to other treatments, they are paying for those alternative treatments, which in turn leads to increased use,” said Dr. Daniel R. Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at UC San Francisco.
Cohen and his colleagues compared data from a statewide database that tracked marijuana users’ medical marijuana usage and medical marijuana prescriptions from 2008 through 2012 with data on the same data from 2012 from the state of California.
They found that California residents using medical pot prescriptions were over three times more likely to use marijuana to relieve pain than those who did not.
“These findings suggest a direct link between medical marijuana misuse and increased pain, and provide some evidence that this relationship may be more significant than previously believed,” said Cohen.
The findings are important for California, which has seen an uptick in marijuana use.
Medical marijuana is available for people who suffer from conditions such to cancer and chronic pain, as well as for those who are sick with HIV and other serious conditions.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in California and many other states.
The California Medical Board has approved the medical use of marijuana for treating a variety of conditions, including cancer, PTSD and epilepsy.