A new study of Canadian medical cannabis patients has found that many patients prefer medical cannabis products to prescription drugs when treating condition such as chronic pain and mental health disorders.
The study, which was published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Drug Policy and funded by Tilray, was co-authored by Philippe Lucas, Tilray's Vice President of Patient Advocacy. In addition to his role at Tilray, Lucas is also a graduate fellow at the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia at the University of Victoria.
To conduct the research, Lucas and his co-author, University of British Columbia Associate Professor Zach Walsh, surveyed more than 250 medical cannabis patients who are registered with Tilray. They asked patients about the reasons they chose to turn to medical cannabis and their patterns of use. They also collected demographic information from the survey participants.
Lucas and Walsh found that patients perceived medical cannabis to be an effective treatment for a diverse range of conditions, including chronic pain and mental health concerns. Notably, 63% of patients reported they used cannabis to substitute for other prescription drugs, particularly opioids (30%), benzodiazepines (16%), and antidepressants (12%).
“It doesn’t surprise me, given our increasing recognition of some of the problems with opioids,” Walsh told the Globe and Mail. “Now the truth is coming out and people are looking for other alternatives.”
The study received significant attention from the media, including the Globe and Mail, United Press International, Science Daily, and Canada's Global News. Both the abstract and the full text can be accessed here.