Continued Success Of Medical Cannabis Shown In July Data
In an effort to track patient progress and identify potential treatment issues, at the beginning of the month we send out a survey to patients who are active within our practice. Each full survey is added to the patient’s chart and should we find irregularities we will contact the patient and try to address any potential issues.
Our systems allow us to de-identify protected patient information and provide a comprehensive report, in aggregate, of our patient base. We find this data to be an incredible gauge of efficacy and thus incredibly valuable. Because of our transparent methods of practice and the commitment made to each of our patients to advocate for their access, we routinely furnish survey results to the public.
July’s Active Patient Survey
The July patient survey was sent to 657 patients via direct email on July 7. Over the course of the next few weeks, 200 patients completed the survey. With a 30.44 percent return rate, our return rate grew marginally month to month. Also, 200 completed responses were received for July, a full 100 more than June’s survey period.
The survey is broken up into parts. Patient demographics, qualifying conditions, the state’s patient application process, cannabis purchase habits, and a personal wellness survey are included.
Another separate data set allows us to see that our average patient age is 53.19 years. Of the survey responses, 49 percent were male, 48 percent were female, and 2 percent didn’t enter a gender response.
The majority of patients are married and no pregnancy was reported by the sample.
Our patient surveys begin by asking whether or not patients have applied for and if they’ve received their patient ID cards. Of June’s respondents, 97 percent had applied for their ID cards and 61 percent had received approval.
Of those waiting for state approval, only 5 percent had received letters of rejection in the mail. The most common reason for rejection has been reported to be an issue with the patient’s picture, something we can confirm from day to day practice.
If a patient has not received application approval, their survey is completed. For those who have gotten their licenses, we delve deeper into treatment questions.
Patients love their vape pens, as inhalation is the most common method of delivery. Oral capsules, concentrates, and tinctures are being used by 34 percent of patients. Only a small percentage of respondents report using topicals, likely because of Florida’s limitation of just two routes of administration.
Many individuals are reporting reasonable monthly expenses on their medicine:
Prescription Medication Reduction
A marker we always are on the lookout for is reductions in prescription. With cannabis’s inherent safety as a non-fatal substance, it is our belief that the less manufactured pharmaceuticals a patient has to consume is a clear positive benefit of this course of treatment. 63.6% of survey respondents reported being able to reduce at least one prescription.
The majority of patients (90.5 percent) reported no adverse reactions to cannabis. For the 9.5 percent that did report an adverse reaction, the most common side effect was tiredness followed by dry mouth and increased appetite.
Dosing and Strain Use
In July, many survey respondents were just beginning their course of therapy. 51 percent reported finding their optimal dose, while 49 percent were still experimenting. Indica and sativa blends were equally popular, followed by hybrids. Only a small percentage reported using CBD (or low-THC) products only.
Patient Wellness Survey
At the end of each questionnaire, a series of statements are presented to the respondent and the patient is asked how they identify to each on a scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”.
Some of our most important data is contained within these self-assessment surveys. The series of pie charts below paints an incredible picture of individual success.
Cannabis is helping me better manage the symptoms of my illness.
I believe my quality of life has improved since I began using cannabis.
My family members and friends have noticed a positive difference in me.
I’ve been able to engage in more life activities since beginning my cannabis therapy.
I have found I am better able to function on a daily basis.
Our data continues to show positive results. Patients are reporting benefits via reductions in prescriptions and increases in a sense of wellbeing.
As more patients become involved within the program we hope to steadily increase response rates to our monthly surveys and thus provide a more accurate analysis of the data we collect. Another survey was sent to all active patients on August 5th. We look forward to publishing those results.