Are medical marijuana users different from recreational users? The view from primary care.

“Marijuana is currently approved for medical use in 23 states. Both clinicians and the lay public have questioned whether users of marijuana for medical purposes are different from users of marijuana for recreational purposes.

This study examined similarities and differences in important clinical characteristics between users of medical marijuana and users of recreational marijuana.

There was no significant difference between medical and recreational users in the percentage using marijuana with at least two additional substances.


Although our results suggest that there are few distinct differences between medical and recreational users of marijuana, the differences observed, while mostly very small in effect size, are consistent with at least some medical users employing marijuana to relieve symptoms and distress associated with medical illness.”

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