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, MD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, and colleagues used 2 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% of customers reported taking cannabis to relieve pain, and 74% reported taking cannabis to promote sleep. Of the participants taking cannabis for pain, the vast majority (80%) 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%) or opioid analgesics (88%). The vast majority (84%) 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%) or prescription sleep aids (83%).

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

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