Open Cannabis Consumer & Patient Study

Cannabis Center of Excellence - CCOE

The CCOE taps into cannabis citizen science, engaging real patients to share experiences. 
Discover how our survey uncovers patterns and therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis.

Complete responses
Medical Cannabis Patients
Average Age
Microscope and test tubes.

Harnessing Citizen Science to Uncover the Patient Benefits of Medical Cannabis

Here at the Cannabis Center of Excellence (CCOE), we are on a mission to rigorously research and educate the public about cannabis. As more states legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, there is an urgent need for data-driven information on how real patients are using and benefiting from cannabis.

That is why the ​CCOE recently as the Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) on an innovative cannabis citizen science study. This observational study tapped directly into the experiences of over 2,300 cannabis users nationwide and 1,000 users right here in Massachusetts.

View NECANN Presentation

 *You'll need to make an account to view this

Want the Results to This Study? 

Cannabis Center of Excellence Invites You to Subscribe to Our Data Services! 

Here's what to do:
Fill out contact us form, pick your subscription type, we then email you a login and credentials.

Sponsors of This Study:

Cannabis Flower and prescription pills on a prescription pad.

Engaging Cannabis Patients for Data-Driven Discoveries

Our core objectives with this cannabis citizen science study were to:

  • Document how people are using cannabis medicinally, including the conditions treated and symptoms relieved.
  • Understand impacts of medical cannabis on health outcomes and quality of life
  • Identify barriers patients face to accessing cannabis.
  • Pilot a citizen science research model that empowers patients to share their experiences.

With cannabis research restricted federally, collecting data directly from medical cannabis patients gives critical insights into usage patterns and therapeutic benefits.

Notebook with magnifying glass on it.  Writing implements on the table.

Citizen Science Methodology Lets Patients Share Their Stories

Our study utilized an open, anonymous survey that cannabis patients could voluntarily complete online or in-person. We recruited participants nationally and in Massachusetts through cannabis dispensaries, healthcare providers, social media promotion, public media, and other channels.

By engaging everyday citizens in the research process, we pioneered a cannabis citizen science model. Patients could share their experiences to advance knowledge and help fellow community members.

View White Paper

Key Discoveries: How Patients Use and Benefit from Medical Cannabis

Analyzing the cannabis citizen science data revealed fascinating insights on how patients are using and benefiting from medical cannabis, including:

48-66% used medical cannabis recommended by a doctor; 42-47% reported recreational use; many used cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes.

Most common medical conditions treated were chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. Top symptoms relieved were sleep, pain, anxiety, and depression.

58-63% reported using cannabis to reduce prescription medication intake, especially antidepressants, opioids, muscle relaxants, and NSAIDs.

Around 15% used cannabis as a substitute specifically for opioids. Cannabis also helped reduce alcohol and tobacco use for some.

Patients faced barriers to access like cost, lack of availability, and stigma. But legal dispensaries increased access to lab-tested cannabis products.

Test tubes with different medicinal plants
Citizen Science Opens Doors to More Information from Different Demographics.
Medicinal cannabis ticture, cannabis leaf and  other forms of cannabis.

Citizen Science Opens the Door to Evidence-Based Cannabis Education

This cannabis citizen science study demonstrates the power of engaging patients directly in research. It provides scientifically-sound insights into how cannabis can treat major conditions and improve health outcomes.

Medicinal cannabis Plant

Patient-Centered Data Propels Informed Cannabis Teaching

Armed with data straight from medical cannabis users, we can develop better education for patients and clinicians. Our findings highlight cannabis' promise for relieving key symptoms, reducing prescription medication reliance, and serving as an alternative to opioids and other substances.

Picture of charts and graphs at a desk.

Charting a Path Forward: CCOE's Commitment to Cannabis Research

The CCOE is committed to rigorous cannabis research and citizen science initiatives that give patients a voice. We aim to spread awareness and understanding about the proven therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Picture of a page from a dictionary spelling the word research.

Join the Conversation: Be a Part of the Change with CCOE

We invite you to delve further into our research and join the ongoing conversation about cannabis legalization. Visit CCOE's Get Involved Page for more information, and get involved with our initiatives to foster informed, health-focused, and socially equitable cannabis policies.

Get Involved

CCOE - Press for Open Cannabis Consumer Patient Study

Books with a tree growing out of it and birds flying overhead.

Creating Cannabis Citizen Scientists Using Open and Community-Based Research Methodologies to Understand Cannabis Consumers and Patients in Massachusetts and the United States

Posted: 29 Dec 2020

​Check out this white paper featuring ​Dr. Marion McNabb and Dr. Stephen White- Scientific Advisor for the Cannabis Center of Excellence.

Discover more!

Make a Donation

This resource collaborative is housed at the Cannabis Center of Excellence, INC. This work is made possible with funding from partners and collaborators.

Cannabis Center of Excellence.

Stay informed about other research initiatives such as the "Open Cannabis & Consumer Patient Study!" Subscribe to our updates today!

Be the first to find out all the latest news, products, and trends.