HealthDay News — There is rapidly growing interest in the use of marijuana and cannabinoids for pain, according to a survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

The five-question CARAVAN Survey was conducted online by Engine during August 5 to 7, 2019; 1,005 U.S. adults (503 men and 502 women) were surveyed. The survey was released in time for September’s Pain Awareness Month.

The results of the survey indicate that overall, more than two-thirds of respondents have used or would consider using marijuana or cannabinoid compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol, to manage pain. Among millennials, nearly three-quarters would consider using marijuana or cannabinoid compounds for pain compared with two-thirds of Gen Xers and baby boomers. However, some of the results demonstrate significant misunderstanding among those surveyed. For instance, 62% believe marijuana or cannabinoid compounds are safer than opioids and 57% believe they have fewer side effects than other medications. More than one-third of respondents do not think they need to discuss use of these products with their doctor. Nearly half of respondents think they know what they are getting with marijuana or cannabinoids, while 40% believe cannabidiol sold at grocery stores, truck stops, health food stores, or medical marijuana dispensaries is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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“As experts in managing pain, physician anesthesiologists are concerned about the lack of research regarding the safety and effectiveness of marijuana and cannabinoids,” Linda J. Mason, MD, president of the ASA, said in a statement.

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