A new report from New Frontier Data explores the need to understand what medical cannabis patients currently want and need in cannabis medicine. entitled “From Doctors to Pharmacies: The Whole Picture of Medical Cannabis ConsumersThis report analyzes data from a recently published consumer survey that includes information from 1,874 medical cannabis patients.
New Frontier Data argues that insurers can benefit most from a better understanding of medical patients. “Cannabis’s Federal Schedule 1 status means it has no recognized medical value. At the same time, nearly every state in the United States permits some form of medical cannabis use.” report state“This discrepancy has left millions of medical cannabis patients approved by their states and doctors to use cannabis, but unable to get insurance reimbursement for the drug, which is typically heavily taxed. .”
Some of the most common conditions medical patients treat with cannabis include: pain (47% of study participants), anxiety/panic attacks (22%), depression (9%), sleep disorders (9%), PTSD (7%), and neurological disorders (6%). 93% of consumers said cannabis helped them, and 57% said their condition improved significantly (only 36% said their condition improved slightly).
50% of patients reported current prescription medication use, primarily antidepressants (45%), muscle relaxants (27%), arthritis (23%), sleep (20%) and pain against opioids (17%). More than half of patients say they have replaced some or all of their prescription drugs with cannabis.
The federal illegal status of cannabis is an obstacle for many parts of the industry, but opinions about cannabis are changing rapidly. It is particularly useful for insurers who may view it as a drug that costs less than the drug in the US.” the report explained“Less harm may also be boosting medical cannabis consumers, as only 40% said saving money was a reason for the substitution.”
New Frontier Data also advises how brands can accommodate medical cannabis patients compared to the average recreational consumer. Both medical and recreational consumers prefer to consume cannabis on their own or without others. Among cannabinoid-content hybrid products, only 43% of medical consumers chose products with more THC than CBD, compared to 57% of recreational consumers. Products with slightly more CBD than THC accounted for 54%, and products with much more CBD than THC accounted for 57%.
Overall, the report found that 55% of medical consumers believe it is very important to consider trace cannabinoids or terpenes when making purchases (23% say they don’t know what it is). ”).
Retailers are also in a position to update their approach to serving medical cannabis patients.While 59% usually or always choose the same strain, only 34% alternate between familiar options. Most consumers tend to spend about $50 to $200 per month on cannabis products for both medical (52%) and recreational (50%) use.
“With its focus on legalizing adult use and recreational consumers, it’s easy to forget that there are many consumers who rely on cannabis for their physical and mental health.” Conclusion of the report“And while some might argue that all cannabis use is medical, there is certainly a factor that distinguishes medical consumers, as noted above. As we continue to make progress towards acceptance, insurers, brands and retailers need to be aware of the needs of this group and how to meet them.”