John Luque, Ph.D., MPH
Principal Investigator - Pharmaceutical Sciences
1515 S. MLK, Jr., Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32307
John Luque, Ph.D., MPH, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Arinzechukwu Okere, PharmD, MS, MBA, BPCS, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Mixed Methods Study of Medical Marijuana Use Among Minority Patients
Studies in the U.S. revealed that medical marijuana use is predominantly among Whites, but less prevalent among Blacks, Latinos and other minority populations for various reasons. This pilot mixed-methods study was with adult medical marijuana patients. In phase 1 the researchers used an adapted version of a previously validated patient survey in medical marijuana treatment centers to explore the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana for pain alleviation, overall well-being and other beneficial effects in a diverse patient population. Findings from phase 2 interviews revealed participants would cease using several prescription drugs for pain, anxiety and medical problems after becoming medical marijuana patients.
The subjects in this study first consisted of surveying 196 medical marijuana Floridians statewide between the ages of 19 -77, with 47 the average age; 69% were females and 31% were males; 87% White, 6% Black, 6% Hispanic and 2% Asian; the median household income for respondents was between $41,000 and $60,000; and 34% of the respondents were cigarette smokers. Secondly, 13 diverse participants (7 Whites, 3 Blacks, 2 Hispanic and 1 Asian ranging in age from 25-55, with the average age of 38) were interviewed in person or over the phone.
The study consisted of a mixed-methods approach including an online statewide survey and qualitative (open-ended) interviews of a small sample of diverse patients to: (1) determine the social, economic, and health-related factors impacting the use of medical marijuana by patients; and (2) evaluate perceived therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana by minority patients, as well as the preference for medical marijuana administration (e.g., florals, oils, edibles, etc.).
Findings and Implications
Statistically significant differences were found by ethnicity. Blacks reported higher satisfaction with the effects of medical marijuana than Whites on the following indicators: increased appetite (p=0.001), decreased seizures (p=0.045), and increased energy (p<0.001).
In terms of perceived benefits or
preference for administration, the researchers did not identify any differences based on race and
ethnicity of the patients. Most patients preferred vaping for administration. All patients commented on
how expensive it is to obtain medical marijuana.
Impact on MMERI
MMERI may wish to educate shareholders on the need to understand patient's attitudes toward
the use of medical marijuana, as well as vaping as a preferred method, and the potential barrier