Marijuana users do not have increased healthcare utilization: A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study

Published: 4 August 2016
Author(s): Sanjay Bhandari, Cecilia J. Hillard, Thangam Venkatesan
Issue: August 2016
Section: Letter to the Editor

Nearly half (49%) of Americans say that they have tried marijuana [1]. Although increased legalization of marijuana has led to its widespread use, there is a paucity of data on healthcare utilization due to marijuana use. There are studies suggesting that this change in legalization of marijuana has resulted in an increase in number of emergency department (ED) visits [2,3]. Similarly, chronic marijuana use among gastroenterology patients was noted to be a predictor of increased ED visits [4]. More recently, there has been an interest in a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) showing an association between chronic, heavy marijuana use and cyclic vomiting potentially resulting in increased healthcare utilization [5–7].