Study: Chronic Pain is the #1 Driver of Medical Marijuana Use

Chronic pain is the leading ailment driving medical marijuana use, according to a new study conducted across 15 states and published Monday in the journal Health Affairs. Chronic pain was followed by multiple sclerosis and nausea resulting from chemotherapy as the top reasons motivating medicinal marijuana use.

The research was carried out in 2016. Medical marijuana users were asked to cite their reasons for use of the drug. Of the 730,000 reasons given, about two-thirds were chronic pain-related, the study found.

The study’s results underscore the chronic pain epidemic afflicting the U.S. That epidemic has contributed mightily to a scourge of opioid abuse and addiction, which is killing an estimated 70,000 Americans every year

Many experts and legalization advocates hope medical cannabis can provide a safer alternative to pain sufferers hooked on deadly opioids.