Researchers at the University of Georgia will study the effects of legalized medical cannabis on those suffering from chronic pain thanks to a multi-million dollar grant.
The project, announced this week, will seek clarity on whether medical marijuana laws alter the health behaviors of people living with chronic pain and whether they substitute or reduce traditional pain treatments while using medical cannabis.
“We are thrilled to get started on this work,” said Grace Bagwell Adams, assistant professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia. “Much of the policy change has happened quickly in a landscape that is not well understood at the patient level. This work is going to contribute to our understanding about the intersectionality of medical cannabis policy and the behavior of chronic pain patients.”
Researchers will have access to years of data on five million Medicare and five million Medicaid enrollees’ complete medical claims history, which will include all inpatient, outpatient and prescription drug use, as well as some information about socioeconomic status.
In addition, the research team will also examine comparable data on individuals with private insurance.
“For all three types of individuals—Medicare, Medicaid and HCCI/private insured—they will follow the same people