The Journal of American Medical Association released a study that looked at the differences between medical and nonmedical cannabis consumers in the United States.
Of the nearly 100,000 U.S. adults surveyed, 12.9 percent used cannabis in the past year. Of those, roughly 6 percent said they used cannabis only medically, roughly 4 percent used medically and recreationally, and approximately 90 percent reported only nonmedical use. Interestingly, one-fifth of those medical cannabis users lived in states where medical cannabis had not been legalized, which suggested that “physicians might recommend medical marijuana use regardless of legalization.” (Though it should be noted that it appears that when JAMA researchers were making the distinction between states that had a medical cannabis law, and those that don’t, cannabidiol (CBD)-only laws weren’t taken into consideration.)
Compared only with nonmedical use, medical use was “directly associated” with: older age, older marijuana initiation age, disability, Medicaid status, stroke diagnosis, poor self-rated health, anxiety disorder, daily (or near daily) cannabis use, living in a state with a medical cannabis law, and a perception of state legalized medical cannabis. The study also found that more disabled adults consumed cannabis for medical purposes than for nonmedical (recreational).
Data came from 96,100 adults aged 18 or older who all participanted in a 2013-14 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).