Jan. 20, 2022 -- A majority of adults support the use of medical marijuana to treat skin conditions, but relatively few have actually tried it, according to a recent survey.
Almost 89% of respondents were in favor of medical cannabis use for skin disorders, and 73% said that they would be comfortable seeing a dermatologist who recommended them, according to the survey from George Washington University.
"Consumers and patients are already using [medical cannabis products] to treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis, even without guidance from a dermatologist,”, although barriers exist, including patient skepticism and a lack of understanding, Adam Friedman, MD, senior author and chair of the department of dermatology at the university, said in a separate statement.
The survey included 700 adults who participated in the online SurveyMonkey panel.
IT found that 18% of people who use OTC cannabis products for skin conditions do so without a doctor’s recommendation. Of the two-thirds who had seen a dermatologist, 20% received a recommendation for an over-the-counter product and 11% were recommended a product that required a medical marijuana card, the investigators said.
Regular use among patients who did receive a recommendation, however, was high: 76% for OTC products and 72% for those that required a medical card. Among those who had received an OTC recommendation, 32% used the cannabis product for psoriasis and 30% each for acne and rosacea, the authors said.
The most common reason for using cannabis among people who received a dermatologist’s recommendation that required a medical card was for acne (68%), followed by psoriasis and rosacea (28% each). Cost was the main reason 60% of respondents said they declined to use the recommended cannabis product. Other reasons against using the products included skepticism, limited understanding, and the fact the products are illegal in their state.
"Though cost and legality concerns are [serious] barriers, dermatologists have an opportunity to educate those who know little in the way of medical cannabis or are skeptic[s]," they wrote.
The survey results show that many patients are interested, and "the future should be bright” for cannabis-based treatment of skin disorders, Friedman said in the statement.