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By Kyle Jaeger
Medical marijuana use is associated with improved quality of life—including better job performance, sleep, appetite and energy—according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of West Attica in Greece published the study in the journal GeNeDis Neuroscientific Advances on Wednesday following an analysis of survey data from medical cannabis patients with neurological disorders.
“Medical cannabis has been used to relieve the symptoms of people with various chronic diseases,” the authors said. “Despite this, it has been stigmatized.”
The study showed that a majority (58 percent) of respondents said medical cannabis is an effective treatment for their condition.
Among that group, 96 percent said that marijuana decreased their symptoms, 88 percent said it improved their “ability to perform their professional duties,” 79 percent said it enhanced their sleep, 71 percent said it improved their appetite and 68 percent said it increased their energy and vitality.
“Our participants exhibited very few restrictions in activities due to emotional difficulties, a moderate general health status as well as moderate vitality and energy,” the study authors said. “Participants, who reported a longer period of receiving medical cannabis, reported statistically significant more energy and vitality, but also better mental and general health status.”
The clinical questionnaire and SF-36 Health Survey scale that respondents completed also asked about their openness about using cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
A strong majority (85 percent) of medical marijuana patients said that they’ve disclosed their use to family—and 93 percent said that they “enjoyed their support.” However, 81 percent said that they haven’t been open about their cannabis use in their “social environment” such as their workplace.
“Appropriate knowledge could significantly help health professionals in the field of planning and implementation of personalized nursing care in order to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes,” the study concludes.
The findings are consistent with other recent research indicating that cannabis can play a role in improving general wellbeing.
For example, a study published by the American Medical Association in May found that the use of medical cannabis is associated with “significant improvements” in quality of life for people with conditions like chronic pain and insomnia—and those effects are “largely sustained” over time.
Another recent study from the University of Colorado found that consistent marijuana use is associated with improved cognition and reduced pain among cancer patients and people receiving chemotherapy.
Also, a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy this month found that states that have legalized medical marijuana have seen significant reductions in health insurance premiums compared to states where cannabis remained completely illegal.