In a new study published by the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs the vast majority of U.S. veterans “reported positive outcomes for pain, sleep, and emotional problems because of cannabis use in two survey periods.”
“Medical cannabis use among U.S. Veterans has continued to rise”, notes the abstract of the study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Texas State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. “However, data on cannabis use by older Veterans is generally less available.”
With that in mind, the study aimed “to understand the characteristics of older Veterans who enrolled in the Medical Cannabis Patient Program in Illinois and analyze their health outcomes and co-use of cannabis and opioids using longitudinal survey data.”
“Overall, participants reported positive outcomes for pain, sleep, and emotional problems because of cannabis use in two survey periods”, found the study. “Approximately, 62% and 85% respondents reported no change in memory and falls, respectively, with only 3% and 1% reporting a negative outcome for the conditions in both surveys.”
The study found that about 20.4% of those who indicated marijuana use only in the initial survey started to co-use opioids in the follow-up survey, “while 44.1% of those who indicated the use of both substances in the initial survey reported no longer using opioids in the follow-up survey.”
Researchers note that the logistic regression showed that both clinical and contextual factors affected co-use.
In conclusion, the study states, “older U.S. Veterans may be using cannabis to alleviate their pain and other chronic conditions.” However, “More research is needed to understand the effect of cannabis use on reducing or substituting opioids.”
The study’s full abstract can be found by clicking here.