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Kaleb Michaud, PhD, on Skyrocketing Cannabis Use Among People with Rheumatic Diseases

man smoking pot pipe

U.S.-wide study found cannabis use tripled; may highlight unmet needs in pain control and mental health

Cannabis use among people with rheumatic diseases (RMDs) tripled between 2014 and 2019.

That's according to the first US-wide study designed to evaluate the prevalence of cannabis use in a large population of people with RMDs. The findings appear in Arthritis Care & Research.

Among 11,006 survey respondents, cannabis use increased from 6.3% in 2014 to 18.4% in 2019. The greatest prevalence of use occurred in states where cannabis use has been legalized.

In both years, a clear majority of users (74% in 2014; 62% in 2019) reported that cannabis helped relieve their arthritis symptoms.

Cannabis users were more likely to be taking weak opioids (OR 1.2 [1.0, 1.5]; P=0.03) and or have a history of smoking tobacco (OR 1.7 [1.5, 2.1]; P

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