Canadian Cannabis Usage- How Common Is Medical Marijuana in Canada?

Support of medical marijuana has grown in recent times, especially with the rise of research supporting its therapeutic potential for various conditions.

Medical Marijuana may be used to reduce chronic nausea, gastrointestinal disorders, muscle spasms, and pain- to name a few. The endocannabinoid system (ECS), a vital, complex cell-signalling system, is responsible for maintaining bodily homeostasis. Cannabinoids found in cannabis exhibit the same function as endocannabinoids, specifically they bind to receptors in your ECS. Studies have shown that CBD and THC can both relieve symptoms related to various conditions. For example, CBD and THC interact with the ECS to alleviate inflammation, thus relieving muscle spasms. There is also growing research on how medical marijuana can alleviate symptoms of cancer and mental health problems.

Registered Medical Marijuana Patients in Canada – April 2015 to June 2019

As of April 1st, 2015, there were approximately 24,000 registered medical marijuana clients in Canada. This value has increased significantly throughout each year. At the end of 2016, there were 130,000 registered patients and then 270,000 by the end of 2017. After the legalization of marijuana on October 17th, 2018, the number of registered medical marijuana patients increased to 354,000 and then to 364,000 in June 2019. The number of registered medical marijuana clients in Canada will likely grow, as has the corresponding industry and market potential.

Canadian Cannabis Survey for 2019

As of 2017, the Canadian Cannabis Survey has been conducted annually to examine trends such as the amount of cannabis consumed for medical purposes. The results for 2019 are based on an online survey from approximately 12,000 respondents across all provinces and territories. It is important to note that all respondents were aged 16 years and older. A total of 3,968 respondents indicated that they had consumed recreational and medical cannabis in the past 12 months. A total of 1,842 indicated that they used cannabis for medicinal purposes in the past 12 months. Individuals consuming cannabis for medical purposes have increased in the last year, precisely 13% of respondents in 2018 to 14% in 2019.

Of those patients consuming cannabis for medical purposes, only 27% stated they did so through a healthcare professional providing documentation. The remaining 73% did not possess a document from a healthcare professional.

Interestingly, 61% of respondents reported that cannabis consumption allowed them to decrease their consumption of other medications. However, 68% of medical cannabis users reported as such in 2018. Medical marijuana may be a useful tool to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from various conditions. More patients are turning towards medical marijuana to treat their health problems, as opposed to opioids and other prescription medications. Many prescription medications are associated with weakness, decreased blood pressure, drowsiness, and intolerable side effects. Some patients have described the side effects of prescription medication as equivalent to the pain endured through the disease itself.

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