CannCorps, an ongoing study of cannabis use among Canadian veterans, led by researchers at McGill University, revealed some important findings after less than a month.
Through the anonymous online survey, which allows participants to describe their use of medical cannabis, many respondents indicated they suffered from more than one problem, researchers noted.
The most common medical reasons cited for using cannabis included: anxiety or stress (61 per cent), post-traumatic stress disorder (40 per cent) and arthritis (36 per cent). Other common health issues were problems sleeping (72 per cent) and chronic pain (67 per cent). Overall, only 21 per cent rated their health as excellent or very good while 44 per cent rated it as fair or poor. Pain management was a serious issue with 58 per cent having regular pain that was severe enough to limit their daily activities.
A little more than half of respondents (54 per cent), reported using medical cannabis more than once daily, and 33 per cent daily, typically through oils (61 per cent) and edibles (54 per cent), while only 28 per cent reported smoking.
Beyond cannabis use, survey respondents also indicated they were using other solutions to reduce symptoms, including regular exercise, mindful relaxation and yoga, healthy eating and massage therapy.
The long-term goal of the CannCorps Study is to design and test an online health promotion program that Canadian veterans and other medical cannabis users can incorporate into their disease management strategies to optimize the control of their symptoms, researchers said.
Many of the online components have been tested among thousands of Canadians during the pandemic and have been shown to improve sleep, support daily physical activity, improve eating habits, and help individuals lose unwanted weight. CannCorps participants will also provide their experience and guidance to customize this program to the needs of medical cannabis users.
Canadian veterans and non-veterans are welcome to participate in the anonymous questionnaire and share their experiences using medical cannabis at missionvav.com/canncorps. The web-based program being developed based on the survey responses is expected to go live in the winter 2022, and will be free, secure and private.