International forskning

A Longitudinal Observational Study of Medical Cannabis Use and Polypharmacy among Patients Presenting to Dispensaries in Pennsylvania

Emily R Hajjar 1, Allison Herens 2, Erin L Kelly 3, Kayla Madden 2, Jessica M Lungen 1, Brooke K Worster 2

  • 1Jefferson College of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA.
  • 2Department of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA.
  • 3Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA.


Background: Cannabis use is increasing among adults to treat a variety of health conditions. Given the potential for interactions and adverse events, it is important to assess the use of medical cannabis along with other concomitant medications when assessing for polypharmacy.

Methods: The objective of this observational, longitudinal study was to examine medical cannabis (MC) use along with concomitant medications over 12 months in patients with serious medical conditions enrolled in the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Health’s (DOH) Medical Marijuana Program and to collect and catalog which forms of MC patients are taking along with their concomitant medications.

Results: There were 213 participants who completed the baseline surveys in full, and 201, 187, and 175 who completed the 1, 6, and 12-month follow-up surveys. The mean age of the participants was 41.3 years, and 54.5% were female. The mean number of MC products taken at baseline was 3.41 and 3.47 at the 12-month survey. Participants took an average of 3.76 (SD 3.15) medications at baseline and 3.65 (SD 3.4) at 12 months. Most commonly used concomitant medications at baseline included vitamins (42.3%), antidepressants (29.1%), analgesics (22.1%), herbal products (19.7%), and anxiolytics (17.8%).

Conclusion: Participants used multiple medical cannabis products to treat a number of medication conditions in conjunction with multiple medications.

Keywords: medical cannabis; polypharmacy.