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As more states legalize cannabis, a new study has found many patients are choosing medical cannabis to supplement and even replace pharmaceutical drugs.

The study was provided by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, which surveyed 450 adults who identified themselves as current cannabis users. Among those surveyed, 78% said they used cannabis to treat a medical or health condition.

As the study notes, people use medical cannabis for a wide variety of ailments including: chronic pain, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, menstrual cramps and headaches. It is also used to mitigate the adverse side effects of chemotherapy and to alleviate nausea in patients living with HIV-AIDS.

Nearly half of respondents (42%) said they had completely stopped taking a pharmaceutical drug, while 38% had cut back their use and replaced it with medical cannabis instead. Respondents also reported trusting medical cannabis more than mainstream pharmaceutical drugs, rating cannabis better in terms of effectiveness, side effects, availability and cost. However, 30% of respondents said their doctor or healthcare provider doesn’t know they are using medical cannabis.

Understanding the attitudes of real-life patients will be essential to shaping medical cannabis policy in the United States.

Source: https://www.menshealth.com/health/a25953041/medical-marijuana-pain-cannabis-prescription-drugs-study

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