Patients use medical cannabis to treat the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments—but only some of those uses are actually backed up by science. A new study out Monday, however, suggests the vast majority of patients are prescribed medical pot for conditions like chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, for which there is good research supporting the use of cannabis.
In light of their findings, the authors say it’s high time that cannabis be downgraded from its federal status as a Schedule I drug, and it should be better tracked and regulated as a medical treatment.
In the U.S., 33 states and the District of Columbia currently permit people to use medical cannabis. These users need a special license, which can only be obtained if a doctor agrees that they have a qualifying condition. But until now, according to the authors, there hasn’t been an attempt to quantify, on a national level, why people are getting medical cannabis.