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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201722 Find in a Library
Title: Using Cannabis Therapeutically in the UK: A Qualitative Analysis
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:Spring 2003  Pages:325-356
Author(s): Ross Coomber; Michael Oliver; Craig Morris
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 32
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides some insight into the experience of those that use cannabis therapeutically in a context of illegality in England.
Abstract: Thirty-three individuals that use cannabis to relieve symptoms of chronic illness or disability were contacted and interviewed. Of the 33, 19 were male and 14 were female. The mean age was 44 years with a range between 26 and 65 years. Only one of the sample was from a non-White minority group. All but one were current therapeutic users of cannabis at the time of being interviewed. Fourteen of the sample used cannabis to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis; 9 had arthritic/rheumatoid complaints. The remaining had a diverse range of ailments and disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, or respiratory and muscle weakness problems. Results showed that 16 respondents reported using cannabis on a daily basis, 4 reported use on most days, 8 indicated using 1 to 3 times a week, and only 2 reported that they used only rarely. Frequency of use was determined by the individual’s perceived need for symptom relief. While some used cannabis reactively against various symptoms of pain, discomfort, and nausea, others used it proactively to either manage constant discomfort/pain or to prevent the symptom’s excesses when they appeared. A third group had a much more patterned approach to their use, choosing to use at particular points of the day or from a particular point in the day. Most chose smoking cannabis as their main method of administration. The initial experiences of cannabis were predominantly positive. Cannabis use was not perceived as causing problems between the interviewees and their family members. Most of the subjects of the study were actively involved in the health care system and were seeing health care professionals. A certain amount of indignation towards cannabis’ illegality as a therapeutic agent was found. 8 notes, 36 references
Main Term(s): England; Medical uses of marijuana
Index Term(s): Controlled Substances; Drug dependence; Marijuana; Medical and dental services; Medical evaluation; Medicolegal considerations; Treatment
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