Is medical cannabis all that advocates make it out to be? Find out what scientists have learned from talking to real patients. We’ve written a fair amount on how medical marijuana can provide relief to patients with a wide range of health conditions, from epilepsy to chronic pain to dementia to sickle cell anemia. However, in this piece, we want to highlight how patients are actually responding to marijuana-based treatment. While marijuana has been difficult to study due to its classification as a Schedule 1 substance, researchers have found links between cannabis use and improved quality of life. Here are a few examples of what they have discovered. What Patients Are Saying About Medical Marijuana One 2014 study found that patients (the vast majority of whom used medical cannabis for chronic pain relief) reported a 64 percent decrease in their pain levels. Half of surveyed patients also experienced anxiety relief and slightly under half reported sleeping better, as well. Patients reported no serious adverse health effects from using medical marijuana, with 71 percent saying they’d experienced no negative side effects at all. The results, according to the study, suggest that marijuana-based treatments are an effective solution for patients looking to manage chronic pain. It’s also worth pointing out that states with legal medical marijuana programs show a significant decrease in overdoses linked to opioid medications. Cannabis is essentially impossible to overdose on, has a low rate of addiction, and can be taken in place of NSAID medications (which are not recommended for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, or kidney issues). Another study — focused on how patients responded to using marijuana to manage the symptoms of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) — found that the drug was associated with a number of significant benefits. These include increased appetite, better sleep, reduced anxiety and depression, and muscle relaxation. Surveys of multiple sclerosis patients also suggest similar benefits. In one study, researchers noted significant improvements in muscle stiffness, pain, spasms, quality of sleep, walking ability, and psychological state — all of which aligned with patients’ self-reported findings. Another study found that marijuana-derived treatments provide effective, long-term therapy for patients with moderate to severe multiple sclerosis symptoms, with 84 percent of patients surveyed also reporting no adverse side effects. Find Out Whether Medical Marijuana Is Right for You While there’s still a lot about medical marijuana that needs rigorous study in order to draw clear conclusions — the effects of long-term use, in particular, are not entirely known — there’s an established and still-growing body of research showing that many patients respond positively to cannabis-based forms of treatment. If you’d like to speak with one of our specialists to learn whether you might be a good candidate for medical marijuana, contact us today to set up a free consultation. Lakewood Medical Clinic provides holistic healthcare services to the Cleveland area, using cannabis therapies to support tried-and-true traditional practices. Medical marijuana isn’t a one size fits all solution, and our team of trained experts is ready and able to help you find the best course of treatment to meet your needs.