Self-Medication of Somatic and Psychiatric Conditions Using Botanical Marijuana.

“As a complement to research evaluating botanical marijuana as a medical therapy for various somatic and psychiatric conditions, there is a growing body of research assessing marijuana users’ self-reports of the symptoms and conditions for which they use marijuana without a physician’s recommendation.

As part of two larger web-based surveys and one in-situ survey at an outdoor marijuana festival, we asked regular marijuana users if they consumed the drug without a physician’s recommendation and, if so, to describe (or select from a checklist) the conditions for which they used marijuana as a medication.

Participants reported using marijuana to self-medicate a wide variety of both somatic conditions (such as pain, diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome) and psychiatric conditions (such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia).

Because fewer than half of the American states, and only a few countries, allow physicians to recommend medicinal marijuana, these findings may be of interest to clinicians as they treat patients, to lawmakers and policymakers as they consider legislation allowing physicians to recommend botanical marijuana for somatic and psychiatric conditions, and to researchers evaluating conditions that individuals elect to self-medicate using botanical marijuana.”

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