Legalization of recreational cannabis is associated with a reduction in the use of prescription drugs. Enrollment in statewide medical cannabis programs more than quadrupled between 2016 and 2020. According to a 2019 survey, more than a quarter of we Use the responders Convention on Biological Diversity– Products only in the previous year. And in the UK, most medical cannabis patients feel that healthcare professionals and society in general do not approve of their prescription.
These are among the notable findings of a series of recent studies examining the use and perceptions of cannabis in the United States, Canada, and United kingdom Together they provide an illuminating snapshot of the current moment, one in which cannabis is more prevalent than ever in these countries, but at the same time remains a stigma, and is often poorly understood. It also highlights current trends in product preferences and labeling practices that are sure to evolve with this rapidly expanding industry.
Recreational cannabis, and the drugs described below
Multiple studies over the past five years or so have shown that access to medical marijuana is associated with reduced prescriptions for opioids and other medications.1234 But little is known about the association with recreational cannabis laws. In an article published in July 2022 in the magazine Health EconomicsAnd the5 Indiana University doctoral student Ashley Bradford—who co-authored three of these studies (with her father, University of Georgia professor W. David Bradford)—and Cornell University doctoral student Shyam Raman analyzed quarterly data on we Medicaid prescriptions from 2011 to 2019.
They certainly saw “significant reductions in prescription volumes within drug classes that align with clinical indications for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep, psychosis, and seizures,” and concluded that allowing recreational cannabis use could lead to potentially cost savings for government Medicaid programs.
Medical cannabis use is expanding, but the stigma remains
Two other recent studies provide insight into the state of medicinal cannabis in we And the United kingdom The first, appears in the magazine Annals of internal medicine In June 20226 He found that total patients enrolled in statewide medical cannabis programs for which data was available (26 of 37 states) increased approximately 4.5-fold between 2016 and 2020. Unsurprisingly, much of this growth was concentrated in states without recreational legalization – Most dramatically Oklahoma, which voted to legalize medical cannabis in 2018 and by 2020 had 927 patients per 10,000 residents. In five of the seven states that allowed recreational use and reported data during this time frame, the number of medical cannabis patients has declined, and presumably medical licensing, which often requires a fee, is no longer required.
Meanwhile in the UK, where medicinal products containing cannabis are also being prescribed with increasing frequency, a study published in June in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health7 Reports suggest that patients are still not quite comfortable with their use – or at least worried that others won’t accept it. Of the 450 patients who responded to a survey, only 38% believed that healthcare professionals approved their prescription, and 33% thought society generally agreed. Furthermore, 57% were afraid of the police or criminal justice system looking at their prescriptions, and 55% were afraid that other public bodies would not approve.
Fixed flower rules, only among the highConvention on Biological Diversity products
The dried flower is still by far the most popular cannabis product across the United States and Canada, but it is slowly losing its potency to more processed forms — especially when cannabis use is legal. According to the results of online surveys conducted by the International Cannabis Policy Study (published in the June 2022 issue of Annals of internal medicine8), between 2018 and 2020, the prevalence of flower use among cannabis consumers last year decreased from 81% to 73% in Canada, and 78% to 72% in we Legal states, 81% to 76% in we illegal countries. By contrast, the prevalence of use has increased in the past year for almost all other forms of products — including edible oils and e-cigarette oils, the two most popular products after flower.
Meanwhile, another paper by some of the same authors, drawn from the 2019 International Cannabis Policy Survey in particular, found that more than a quarter of we Use the responders Convention on Biological Diversity products last year (26.1% of 30,288 respondents), compared to just 16.2% of 15,042 Canadian respondents. Published in the June 2022 issue of Hemp and hemp researchAnd the9 The results indicate that oils and drops were by far the most popular type of product in both countries, used by about half of consumers, followed by topical, edibles, vape oils, and capsules, used by approximately 15-25% of consumers. Convention on Biological Diversity and dried flowers, used by about 10% of Convention on Biological Diversity Consumers in the United States and 16% in Canada.
Double labeling and knowledge
Two recent studies point to an area ready for future growth in both the recreational cannabis industry and the medical cannabis field: product labeling and consumer knowledge.
The first, which appears in Frontiers in pharmacology In June 202210 Includes analysis THC:Convention on Biological Diversity The ratios listed on 8,500 products were posted online by 653 dispensaries in nine we States. The authors, based at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, reported that nearly 60% of the products lacked any information whatsoever about Convention on Biological Diversity Content. More broadly, they conclude, both recreational and medical programs fail to adequately contextualize the importance and potential therapeutic uses of various THC:Convention on Biological Diversity proportions.
Given this, the results of our final paper are no less surprising. According to a study by the University of Waterloo, Canada, published in Hemp and hemp research in June11 – and relying again on data from the International Cannabis Policy Study – Cannabis Consumers in Canada Before Legalization, Legal and Illegal we Both countries have poor knowledge in general THC And the Convention on Biological Diversity levels in the products they use.
“Although there is some evidence of greater knowledge in legal jurisdictions, knowledge was still low in countries with legal markets for cannabis,” the authors wrote. Even among consumers who reported knowing THC And the Convention on Biological Diversity levels, many unreasonable values reported. … There is a need for more consumer awareness regarding cannabis levels, particularly given the increasing diversity of cannabis products and consumers’ difficulties in calibrating THC dose. ”