947 people in the UK reported using cannabis for medical purposes, with more than a third (35 per cent) saying that they used it six or seven days a week. The majority (68 per cent) said that it made their symptoms much better.
"The results of our UK survey, including the extent of use and reported effects, lend support to the further development of safe and effective medicines based on cannabis" says lead author Dr Mark Ware principal investigator and pain physician at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Pain Centre.
People with chronic pain were most likely to use cannabis for medicinal purposes (25 percent) followed by patients with multiple sclerosis (22 per cent), depression (22 per cent) arthritis (21 per cent) and neuropathy (19 per cent).
Younger people, males and those who had used cannabis recreationally were also more likely to use it for medicinal reasons.
Key findings included:
"To our knowledge this is the most extensive survey of medicinal cannabis use among chronically ill patients conducted to date" says Dr Ware. "We believe that it presents a broad picture of the current state of cannabis use for medicinal purposes in the UK."
About the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC)
The Research Institute of the MUHC is a world world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre. Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC, a university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. The institute supports over 500 researchers, nearly 1000 graduate and post-doctoral students and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge. For further details visit: www.muhc.ca/research.