New research published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research finds that Canadians tend to use THC-products more frequently as a sleep-aid and for pain relief, while CBD products are used more for helping deal with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
The study, titled Cannabinoid Profiles in Medical Cannabis Users: Effects of Age, Gender, Symptoms, and Duration of Use, and published in May, 2021, looked at the cannabis use of 629 Canadians using a mobile app called Strainprint that helps patients track their therapeutic medical cannabis regimen. The researchers studied and analyzed usage amongst adult Canadians on a prescribed therapeutic cannabis program between May, 2017 and August, 2019. The average age of participants was 38 years old, 58.7% identify as female and the largest proportion of participants reside in Alberta and Ontario.
The researchers found that:
- Males predominantly consume medical cannabis in the form of dried flower and vaping, while females predominantly consume medical cannabis in the form of ingested oils.
- Males use slightly more medical cannabis containing THC (24%), while females use more CBD products (29%).
- Those between the ages of 31-39 prefer THC-dominant medical cannabis (40%), while people aged 40+ prefer a balanced THC:CBD product (30%)
- Most participants reported a “significant” reduction in symptom severity.
- “Positive effects” were reported across all symptoms and cannabis-type categories.
The researchers warn that more research is needed to make definitive conclusions about the efficacy of medical cannabis use to relieve symptoms and given the observational nature of this study, they cannot rule out the placebo effect, concluding that: “One possible explanation for these observations therefore would be the presence of a significant and prolonged placebo effect. Patients with chronic diseases may have a high degree of expectation and this may effect a significant bias on the results.”