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Researchers investigate medicinal use of cannabis in NZ

Embargoed until: Publicly released:
Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

Survey: A study based solely on people’s responses to a series of questions.

People: This is a study based on research using people.

A team of researchers at Massey University's Shore & Whāriki Research Centre has explored the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in New Zealand, prior to implementation of the new Medicinal Cannabis Scheme. The team created an anonymous survey, promoted through Facebook, which gathered information from 3,634 medicinal users of cannabis from May to August 2019. Their results found that people had self-medicated with cannabis to treat a wide range of health complaints, the most common of which were pain (81 per cent), sleep (66 per cent) and mental health conditions (64 per cent). While respondents perceived cannabis to be an effective therapy, 52 per cent reported side effects from cannabis use, including increased appetite, drowsiness, and memory impairment. Only half discussed the use of cannabis with their healthcare professional.

Journal/conference: New Zealand Medical Journal

Organisation/s: Massey University

Funder: The research was supported by a New Zealand Health Research Council Grant (19/647) and the Massey University Research Fund.

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