One in Six Primary Care Patients Report Cannabis Use

15.6 percent do so for medical reasons, while 75.7 percent use cannabis to manage symptoms
pot cannabis marijuana
Adobe Stock

FRIDAY, June 7, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- One in six adult primary care patients report using cannabis, according to a study published online June 5 in JAMA Network Open.

Lillian Gelberg, M.D., from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined prevalence of past three-month cannabis use and reasons for cannabis use. Analysis included 175,734 adults with an annual wellness visit at a primary care clinic within a university-based health system (January 2021 to May 2023).

The researchers found that 17.0 percent of participants reported cannabis use, with 34.7 percent having Alcohol Substance Involvement Screening Test scores indicative of moderate-to-high risk for cannabis use disorder (CUD). Prevalence of cannabis use was higher among male versus female patients (20.0 versus 14.7 percent) and younger patients (18 to 29 years: 31.0 percent; ≥60 years: 8.5 percent). Prevalence was lower among those who lived in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods (13.8 and 17.4 percent for Area Deprivation Index deciles 9 to 10 and 1 to 2, respectively). Of those reporting using cannabis, 15.6 percent said they did so for medical reasons only, while 75.7 percent reported using cannabis to manage symptoms, including pain (31.7 percent), stress (50.2 percent), and sleep (56.0 percent). The median number of symptoms managed was two, although patients who were at moderate-to-high risk for CUD managed four symptoms.

"Given the high rates of cannabis use, especially for symptom management, and the high levels of disordered use, it is essential that health care systems implement routine screening of primary care patients," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

No stories found.