Wednesday, June 8, 2016 — An analysis by Treato, the single largest source of online consumer insights on healthcare, found that of those with firsthand experience with epilepsy found that 57 percent reported medical marijuana’s particularly high efficacy at reducing symptoms such as seizures and with less serious side effects than prescription drugs they have tried in the past. These online discussions about marijuana and epilepsy were focused on finding a successful treatment rather than on arguing against the use of a recreational drug as medication. Morality was not discussed at all as a reason for not using medical marijuana. These patients were more concerned about effectiveness. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, it affects three million Americans and there are more than 150,000 new cases of epilepsy reported each year.
An in-depth analysis by Treato found that patients suffering from epilepsy are crowd-sourcing experiences with medical marijuana, approaching it as one more therapeutic option as they look for new ways to manage a serious and often difficult-to control disease. These patients recognize it as having legitimate medical application for an illness with dire circumstances. Of the total online posters, 44 percent used medical terminology to describe marijuana. As posters mix or blend two marijuana vocabularies (e.g., “weed” and “cannabidiol” or “medical marijuana”), they also are learning to differentiate types of marijuana – medical from recreational. In-community patients are seen asking and teaching each other about the differences such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) contents reflective to effectiveness. More educated community members, educate peers on the differences between high THC content marijuana – known for causing a “high” – and marijuana with high CBD, the component associated with its therapeutic effects.
“The accolades for medical marijuana use among those affected by epilepsy show there’s a huge market opportunity for cannabidiol among pharma companies,” says Ido Hadari, CEO of Treato. “Organizations should be listening to this patient population online as they consider investing in alternative therapies for neurological conditions.”
For more information about Treato’s medical marijuana and epilepsy data analysis.
TreatoVoice is a unique data asset that continuously collects and analyzes more than two and a half billion patient and caregiver conversations happening across the Internet in real-time to understand what patients are saying about their experiences with their conditions and treatments. For this data analysis Treato collected more than 2,100 online conversations about medical marijuana and epilepsy from January 2015. The qualitative analysis focused on 100 posts from 70 “threads” within Reddit, with particular focus on discussions occurring within an epilepsy sub-forum over the past two years.