On May 16, 2017, the Minnesota Department of Health announced that a recent study shows a majority of patients enrolled in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program have reported medical cannabis benefitting their conditions.
The study, conducted by the MDH, analyzed enrollment, purchasing, health and survey data for patients and health care practitioners who registered with the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, the program’s first year of operation.
The full study isn’t scheduled to be issued until June 2017, but the study’s executive summary shows 64% of patients believe they’ve benefitted from medical cannabis.
“Based on this evidence from the first year, Minnesota’s approach is providing many people with substantial benefits, minimal side effects and no serious adverse events,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger in a press release.
According to the executive summary, two-thirds of medical cannabis patients indicated that symptom reduction was the most important benefit of using medical cannabis.
“Almost all muscle spasm and pain associated with spasms are gone. I used to have constant nerve triggered pain that is minimal now. Results were almost immediate. I am sleeping way better now also,” wrote one survey respondent.
While a majority of patients enrolled in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program have reported positive results, health care practitioners tempered their benefit assessments, with 38% reporting that medical cannabis has benefitted their patients.
The study attributes the discrepancy in benefit assessment to patients being more likely to characterize improved quality of life as a benefit and doctors being more likely to limit benefits to those that can be backed up by data, such as a quantifiable reduction in seizures.
In regards to seizure reduction, 68% of seizure patients reported at least a 30% reduction in seizure frequency and 49% of seizure patients achieved that 30% reduction rate and retained it for an average of four months.