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Quality of Life for Chronically Ill Patients Improved with Medical Cannabis

Different health conditions have different durations of recovery times. Thankfully, many health conditions are short-lived. Those that are not can impact a person’s quality of life and new research says cannabis could help.

Unfortunately, some health conditions can linger for weeks or even months. Conditions that last longer than 3 months are considered to be ‘chronic conditions.’

Chronic conditions can come in many different forms depending on the patient, and patients can obviously suffer from multiple chronic conditions at the same time.

If you have suffered from one or more chronic conditions, or have a loved one that is/has, then you know how negative of an impact it can have on a person’s quality of life. A recent study found that cannabis may be able to help.

Quality of Life and Cognitive Function 

Researchers from Spain and Brazil collaborated to assess the use of cannabis over a one year time span among a group of patients that suffered from various chronic diseases, including HIV, epilepsy, and fibromyalgia.

Roughly 90% of the study’s participants reported self-medicating with cannabis on a daily basis.

The study’s researchers concluded that the patients that reported medical cannabis use also reported quality of life scores that held steady over the course of the study’s duration, and patients reported no decline in either cognition or psychopathology measures.

“Mid-term use of medical cannabis seems to show adequate tolerability regarding cognitive and psychopathological abilities, and it may help patients with chronic diseases to maintain an acceptable QoL (quality of life),” authors concluded. “It seems that medical cannabis could act as a substitute for other medications that have harmful or unwanted side effects. Further research is necessary, including research that recruits medical cannabis patients before they begin treatment and follows them prospectively in order to establish potential causal relations.”

The findings from this study are consistent with the findings of previous studies (study 1 and study 2), that also found an association between medical cannabis use and maintaining or improving self-reported quality of life.

The Safer Choice

Treating a chronic condition often involves the use of pharmaceutical drugs, which result in a series of potential side effects.

Treating each side effect can in itself require additional pharmaceutical medications, and things can snowball really quickly. That can be very problematic and create patient safety concerns.

However, without certain medications a patient’s quality of life can suffer greatly. That is where cannabis can really help in many instances.

Cannabis is safer and often as effective, or even more effective, at improving quality of life for suffering patients compared to pharmaceutical drugs.

If you suffer from a chronic condition, or know someone that does, you should talk with your healthcare professionals to see if cannabis is right for your situation.


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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