New Research Analyzes Gender Disparities of Medical Cannabis and Prescription Drug Use

A new study out last month from researchers affiliated with DePaul University and John Hopkins University helped illuminate some notable differences between men and women who are prescribed medical cannabis. 

The study, published last month in the Journal of Women’s Health, found that women “are more likely to report decreased use of prescription medications to treat symptoms, and report lower levels of support from physicians for [medical cannabis] use,” and that subsequent research on gender differences among those who use medical cannabis treatment “may benefit from more detailed data related to symptomatology, utilization, dosing, and outcomes associated with [medical cannabis], and interactions with the health care system to extend these findings.”

The researchers surveyed 361 patients who participate in Illinois’ medical cannabis program. “We summarized participants’ qualifying conditions, symptoms treated with MC, perceived physician support for MC use, use of MC and prescription medications, then analyzed differences by participant gender,” the researchers wrote, noting that they found that “that men report higher levels of support for [medical cannabis] use from both specialist and primary care physicians,” while women “were significantly more likely to increase use of cannabis after acquiring an [medical cannabis] card, and to discontinue prescription medications through [medical

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