HealthDay News — De facto medical use of cannabis for symptom relief is common among adult-use dispensary customers in Colorado, according to a study published online July 2 in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Marcus Bachhuber, M.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, and colleagues used two adult-use cannabis retail stores to recruit 1,000 customers to a survey (August to October 2016). The survey assessed reasons for use of cannabis. Customers reporting medical certification were excluded.

The survey results showed that 65 percent of customers reported taking cannabis to relieve pain, and 74 percent reported taking cannabis to promote sleep. Of the participants taking cannabis for pain, the vast majority (80 percent) said that it was very or extremely helpful, with most respondents saying that they reduced or stopped their use of over-the-counter pain medications (82 percent) or opioid analgesics (88 percent). The vast majority (84 percent) of customers reporting taking cannabis for sleep said that it was very or extremely helpful, and similarly, most reported reducing or stopping use of over-the-counter (87 percent) or prescription sleep aids (83 percent).

“Adult-use cannabis laws may broaden access to cannabis for the purpose of symptom relief,” the authors write.

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