Enhancing Life Quality for Military Veterans: Study Discovers Medical Cannabis Enhances Wellbeing and Curtails Reliance on Prescription Medications

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A Fresh Study Discovers: Over 90% of U.S. Military Veterans Utilizing Medical Cannabis Report Enhanced Life Quality, Utilizing Cannabis as a Substitute for Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs.

Conducted by scholars from the University of Massachusetts, University of Utah, and institutes devoted to cannabis research, this investigation examined self-reported survey data from 510 veterans who acknowledged their marijuana consumption, aiming to glean insights into the purpose and experiences shaping their usage patterns.

A noteworthy 67% of respondents indicated daily cannabis use. Approximately 30% stated their consumption was aimed at minimizing reliance on other pharmaceuticals, including anti-depressants (25%) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (17%). Another 21% shared that cannabis allowed them to curtail the utilization of opioid-based medications. In aggregate, an impressive 91% of veterans attested to the life-enhancing benefits of cannabis.

The study notes, “Veterans of Black ethnicity, females, those with a history of active combat, and those enduring chronic pain expressed a heightened desire to decrease their reliance on prescription medications. Women and individuals using cannabis daily were more inclined to actively utilize cannabis to diminish their reliance on prescription drugs.”

“Numerous study participants reported that medicinal cannabis employment contributed to an enriched quality of life and diminished reliance on undesired medications. This highlights the potential role of medicinal cannabis in harm reduction, aiding veterans in reducing their intake of pharmaceuticals and other substances.”

Published last month in the Clinical Therapeutics journal, this observational study holds a few constraints, including self-reported data and potential influence from cannabis-friendly media outlets and companies in the research process. Nevertheless, its findings are harmonious with prior inquiries exploring marijuana’s viability as an alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Particular focus rests on investigating cannabis’s viability as a remedy for veterans, given their disproportionate prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alarmingly high suicide rates.

A 2019 survey by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) disclosed that 20% of veterans have employed marijuana for medicinal purposes, while 66% have engaged with cannabis recreationally.

In terms of medical consultations, veterans are eligible to converse with doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) about their cannabis usage. However, doctors remain restricted from completing the necessary forms to issue medical cannabis recommendations in states where it is legal. A bipartisan congressional bill, coupled with an amendment attached to VA spending legislation, aspires to rectify this situation in the current legislative session.

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