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Patient Perception on the Efficacy and Regulations of Medical Marijuana

Megan Campbell
University of Florida

Objective: The objective of this research study was to assess the efficacy of the use of cannabis and its derivatives for medicinal purposes. This survey-structured study aimed to examine two primary aspects. The first aspect of this study sought to investigate patient perspectives on utilizing medical marijuana versus FDA-approved medications for their diagnosed medical condition. The second aspect sought to evaluate patient perception on the public policies that regulate medical marijuana.

Methods: A preliminary literary review was conducted to assess the current uses of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The knowledge gained from this literature was then used to create a Qualtrics questionnaire containing ten questions on cannabis use for mental health conditions, chronic pain, digestive issues, and a slew of various debilitating disorders. The questionnaire was administered to 30 participants who hold a medical marijuana card in the state of Massachusetts. The participants were screened, and informed consent was provided to them explaining the overview of the study and reassuring their anonymity. Following the completion of the questionnaire, the information was reviewed, and the data was extrapolated to analyze the efficacy of cannabis product use for individuals with diagnosed medical conditions.

Results: The results indicate that medical marijuana patients prefer cannabis products and its derivatives over FDA-regulated pharmaceuticals. Secondly, the results also show that those with a medical marijuana card believe policies should be implemented in more states to make cannabis accessible to those battling various medical conditions. Although the laws and regulations of cannabis differ from state to state, the use of medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective method of treatment for an array of both emotional and physical conditions.

Conclusion: Despite limitations such as long-term effects on patients and the wide variety of health conditions of the participants, cannabis used for medicinal reasons has been shown to be an effective method of treatment. Furthermore, participants believe that more states should adopt similar policies to Massachusetts that make medical marijuana accessible to patients with emotional and/or physical conditions that cause a decrease in their functionality and quality of life.

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