Arkansas’ medical marijuana program is the topic of a brand new examine analyzing its hyperlink to total well being outcomes.
Researchers with the College of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Heart for Well being Enchancment will lead the three-year examine, funded by a $1.3 million grant from the Nationwide Institutes of Well being.
ACHI president and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson says little analysis exists on the hyperlink between medical hashish and well being outcomes.
“We don’t know whether or not we’re going to have findings that medical marijuana helps, for instance, decreasing people which have ache, their opioid prescription charge, or whether or not medical marijuana might have unintended results of getting new psychological well being circumstances emerge,” Thompson stated.
Thompson says the examine will look at the kind of hashish merchandise sufferers are consuming, in addition to docs’ workplace visits, emergency room outcomes and motorcar accident information.
The examine will use six knowledge sources, together with the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative’s Arkansas All-Payer Claims Database. Thompson says Arkansas’ distinctive transparency legal guidelines makes this one of many first research of its sort within the U.S.
“I feel there will likely be lots of eyes on this examine each inside the state and throughout the nation. There’s actually been no examine that, from a inhabitants perspective, has appeared on the impact of a coverage like making medical marijuana accessible as a brand new therapeutic,” Thompson stated. “If we discover that it has very constructive results, then there could also be coverage modifications that convey it extra built-in into the standard suppliers of care.”
Arkansas’ medical marijuana program was first authorized by voters in 2016. At present about 80,000 sufferers are enrolled in this system to assist deal with circumstances like power ache, most cancers and post-traumatic stress dysfunction.