Medical Marijuana Users Benefit From Treatment
May 27, 2016
The Jerusalem Post — The results of an extensive study on the effects of medical marijuana use were revealed recently at the Sixth International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy.
The study, which took place over the course of two years, was led by Prof. Pesach Shvartzman of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Although medical cannabis has been legal in Israel for a decade and is prescribed to more than 20,000 patients, “there has been no information about the users themselves,” says Prof. Shvartzman.
In the course of the study, patients were observed at three pain clinics and were interviewed by phone during the first three months of their treatment and then every four months afterward.
The study concluded that most users enjoy significant improvements in pain management and other areas, but not without drawbacks: more than 77 percent of users reported side effects such as dry mouth, hunger, fatigue, red eyes, and blurred vision.
These side effects may be minor concerns, however, as most users reported a decrease in pain, nausea and anxiety, and an increase in appetite and general well-being. Fewer than one in 10 stopped taking the drug after the first interview was conducted.
In addition, nearly 56 percent of users said they chose medical cannabis because the side effects were milder than those caused by more traditional medication.