Cannabis. 2021 Apr 22;4(1):27-39. doi: 10.26828/cannabis/2021.01.001.
OBJECTIVE: Prior studies documenting more frequent and problematic use among young adults who have acquired medical marijuana (MM) cards have broadly compared those who use medically to those who use recreationally. Gaining a better picture of how health symptoms and problematic use vary both within those who have a MM card for specific condition domains and between those who do not have a MM card can provide key information for medical practitioners and states interested in adopting or updating MM policies.
METHOD: The current study categorizes young adults authorized to use MM into three mutually exclusive groups based on endorsements of qualifying conditions: (1) Physical Health only (e.g., AIDS, arthritis, cancer; n = 34); (2) Behavioral Health only (e.g., anxiety, depression, sleep problems; n = 75); and (3) Multiple Conditions (a physical and behavioral health condition; n = 71). Multiple and logistic regression models examined differences across marijuana use, problems, mental health, physical health, and sleep quality for MM condition categories and for those that only use marijuana recreationally (n = 1,015).
RESULTS: After adjusting for socio-demographic factors (age, sex, sexual orientation, educational status, employment status, race/ethnicity, mother’s education, prior intervention involvement in youth), MM card holders, particularly those with physical health or multiple health conditions, reported heavier, more frequent, and more problematic and risky marijuana use compared to those using recreationally. Despite this pattern, those in different MM condition categories were generally not found to be more symptomatic in domains of mental or physical health relevant to their respective conditions, compared to different category groups or to those using recreationally.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings emphasize the importance of providers conducting a careful assessment of reasons for needing a card, along with use, to reduce potential harms while adding credibility to a medical movement with genuine promise of relief for many medical conditions.
Source: ncbi 2