Study Finds Over 90% of U.S. Veterans Report Improved Quality of Life with Medical Marijuana Use, Reducing Prescription Medications

Veterans Benefit from Medical Marijuana: Study Shows Significant Quality of Life Improvement and Reduction in Prescription Medications

A groundbreaking study reveals that veterans who utilize medical marijuana experience a remarkable improvement in their overall quality of life. Conducted by researchers from the University of Massachusetts, University of Utah, and cannabis research institutes, the study analyzed self-reported survey data from 510 veterans who acknowledged using marijuana for medicinal purposes. The objective was to gain a comprehensive understanding of their marijuana consumption patterns and the impact on their well-being.

The study discovered that an overwhelming 91 percent of the participating veterans reported a significant enhancement in their quality of life thanks to medical marijuana. A majority of respondents, comprising 67 percent, indicated using cannabis on a daily basis. Furthermore, approximately 30 percent of veterans reported consuming marijuana specifically to reduce their reliance on other medications, including anti-depressants (25 percent) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (17 percent). Remarkably, 21 percent of the participants stated that medical cannabis had allowed them to reduce their dependence on opioid-based medications.

Interestingly, the study revealed that veterans belonging to specific demographics, such as being Black or female, having served in active combat, and experiencing chronic pain, expressed a stronger inclination to reduce the number of prescription medications they were taking. Additionally, the study found that women and individuals who used cannabis daily were more likely to actively utilize marijuana to minimize their dependence on prescription medications.

The study, published last month in the journal Therapeutics, acknowledges certain limitations, including the reliance on self-reported data and the involvement of cannabis-friendly media outlets and companies in promoting or providing funding for the research. However, these findings align with previous studies that have explored the potential of marijuana as an alternative to conventional prescription drugs.

The prospect of cannabis as a viable treatment option for veterans holds particular significance due to the disproportionately high prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide rates within this population. In a 2019 survey conducted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), it was found that 20 percent of veterans have utilized marijuana for medicinal purposes, while 66 percent have engaged in cannabis consumption.

While veterans can discuss their cannabis use with doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), these medical professionals are currently prohibited from completing the necessary forms to issue recommendations in legal states. Nonetheless, both a congressional bill and an amendment attached to VA spending legislation aim to address this issue in the current session.

In a separate development, the House Armed Services recently held a markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), during which -led provisions were adopted to establish a medical marijuana “pilot program” and mandate a study on the potential of psychedelics for active duty military members under the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

Earlier this year, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved a bill that directs the VA to conduct studies on the therapeutic potential of marijuana for military veterans with certain conditions, marking the first time standalone cannabis legislation has progressed through a panel in the Senate. However, Senate Republicans impeded its progress to the floor in April by blocking a procedural motion.

In May, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) introduced another bill to promote research into the medical potential of marijuana for military veterans with PTSD, chronic pain, and other conditions deemed appropriate by the VA secretary.

Late last year, a coalition of over 20 veterans service organizations (VSOs) sent a letter to congressional leaders, urging the passage of a marijuana and veterans research bill before the end of the previous . Unfortunately, that goal was not achieved.

In April, bipartisan House and Senate reintroduced bills to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans, demonstrating ongoing efforts to address the needs and well-being of those who have served their country.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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