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HIGHLIGHTS
  1. CB2 Insights says anxiety, depression among top reasons for medical pot.
  2. Some states exclude mood disorders as reason for medical marijuana.
  3. Global medical pot sales seen at fraction of recreational by 2022.

The most frequent reason that medical patients surveyed in four states used cannabis was to treat mood disorders, with pain control a close second, according to CB2 Insights data gathered data over a four-week period in the United States.

Mood-related conditions were the reasons nearly 35 per cent of the patients sought medical cannabis, data gathered showed.

More specifically, 12 per cent took medical marijuana for anxiety, 9.5 per cent for depression, 6.5 per cent for stress, and 4.5 per cent for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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However, only 24 of the 33 states that have medical cannabis frameworks in effect include a mood-related disorder as a qualifying condition for the drug, and of those that do, PTSD is the only such condition that is listed. Meanwhile, two states do not allow for mood-related conditions to qualify for medical marijuana use at all, though others permit it as a reason on a per-person basis when approved by practitioners, the report showed.

“As of today, the discrepancy between legislative constraints and patient needs is huge,” said Prad Sekar, chief executive of CB2 Insights.

“[Real world evidence is] vital to ensure that patients, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders are able to access appropriate intelligence to better integrate this new therapy into traditional treatment plans.”

Medical cannabis used for pain-related conditions such as migraines and spinal cord injuries came in second at 33 per cent, while it was just at 15 per cent for sleep disorders such as insomnia, CB2 data showed.

“While most states have approved chronic and intractable pain as a qualifying condition for cannabis usage, the vast majority list PTSD as the only qualifying mood-related condition and two states do not allow for mood-related conditions to qualify at all,” the report states.

Medical marijuana has been legal in many states as well as Canada for several years already, but the young recreational cannabis market quickly exceeded it in sales. Globally, adult-use spending will account for 62 per cent of a US$31.6-billion market by 2022, according to a report published this week by ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics.

The legalization of adult-use pot in Canada lifted global spending above medical cannabis for the first time in 2018, and is expected to reach US$19.2-billion by 2022, with medical at US$11.9-billion, the report shows.

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In Canada, legal spending is forecast to reach US$4.7-billion for adult-use in 2022 versus US$400-million in 2018. Spending on medical pot, on the other hand, is forecast to rise marginally to US$1.1 billion in 2022 versus US$800 million last year, according to the report.

In the United States, legal recreational cannabis spending is forecast to reach US$14.3-billion in 2022, more than double the US$6-billion in 2018, with medical at US$7.9-billion versus US$4.5-billion in 2018.

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