Document Type


Publication Date



Introduction: Despite the rising availability and use of medical marijuana (MM) in the USA, little is known about the demographics, clinical characteristics, or quality of life of MM patients. This study describes the demographic characteristics and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of MM patients who are initiating treatment in Pennsylvania. Methods: Two-hundred adults naive to MM and referred for any of the 23 state-approved qualifying conditions were recruited at three MM dispensaries in Pennsylvania between September 2020 and March 2021. All participants consented to the study; completed semi-structured interviews that included demographic questionnaires, the Short Form-36 (SF-36), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7); provided height and weight measurements; and allowed access their dispensary medical records. Results: Participants had a mean age of 48.5 ± 15.6 years, predominantly identified as female (67.5%), and were most commonly referred for chronic pain (63.5%) and/or anxiety (58.5%). Additionally, 46.0% were living with obesity as determined by BMI. Relative to a normative sample, participants reported diminished HRQoL in several domains, most notably in role limitations due to physical health (M = 46.0 ± 42.0), role limitations due to emotional problems (M = 52.5 ± 42.3), energy and fatigue (M = 39.8 ± 20.2), and pain (M = 49.4 ± 26.0). Discussion/Conclusion: Patients initiating MM treatment experienced low HRQoL in multiple domains. Future studies could evaluate the relationship between HRQoL and patients’ decisions to pursue MM treatment, as well as changes in HRQoL with MM use over time.

Publication Title

Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids



First Page


Last Page



This article was published in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, Volume 5, pages 95-101.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). CC BY-NC 4.0.