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Medical cannabis is effective for over 90 percent of patients, Israeli study finds

Medical cannabis is effective for over 90 percent of patients, Israeli study finds

Written By Emily Gray Brosious Posted: 06/06/2016, 03:29pm

First study on demographics and therapeutic outcomes of medical cannabis patients unveiled in Jerusalem.

Israeli researchers shared results from a study on medical marijuana patient outcomes last week at the International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy, which show the vast majority of patients experience positive results from medical cannabis treatment, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.

Medical cannabis has been legal in Israel for over 10 years, and more than 20,000 patients are licensed to use marijuana for medical purposes in the country.

Prof. Pesach Schvartzman of Ben Gurion University of the Negev’s Health Sciences Faculty led the study of 399 new medical cannabis users, which observed 321 noncancer patients and 78 cancer patients over a two-year period of initial treatment.

More than 90 percent of patients surveyed reported significant improvement in pain and nausea after using medical cannabis, The Joint Blog notes.

Researchers found 99.6 percent of patients had applied for medical cannabis treatment after first trying conventional medications that weren’t effective for treating their symptoms.

Approximately 56 percent of patients said they wanted to try medical marijuana because their conventional medications caused unwanted side effects.

Per The Jerusalem Post:

Shvartzman concluded that most users enjoy significant improvement in pain and function, but that the cannabis also caused side effects.

The majority of patients surveyed reported that medical cannabis improved their pain, nausea, anxiety, appetite and general moods.

However, the majority (77 percent) also reported experiencing mild to moderate side effects with medical cannabis, such as dry mouth (60.6 percent), hunger (60 percent), high moods (44 percent), sleepiness (23 percent) and red eyes (32 percent).

Fewer than one in 10 patients stopped taking medical cannabis because of side effects or because it was not effective.

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