CTN-0077-Ot: Medical Cannabis Use Among Primary Care Patients: Using Electronic Health Records to Study Large Populations

Co-Lead Investigators
Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH
Group Health Research Institute

Co-Lead Investigator
Katharine Bradley, MD, MPH
Group Health Reseach Institute

The objective of the proposed rapid response research, in a state with legal medical and nonmedical cannabis use, is to better understand medical use of cannabis in a single large health system that routinely asks primary care patients about the frequency of past-year cannabis use.  Specific Aims are to: 1) Develop and validate a natural language processing (NLP) algorithm to identify electronic health record (EHR)-documented medical cannabis use, 2) Describe patients with EHR-documented medical cannabis use and compare them to patients with other types of cannabis use, and 3) Describe patient experience of medical cannabis use among patients with EHR-documentation of its use.

Primary Findings

In this cross-sectional study of 185,565 patients, 2% had past-year medical cannabis use documented in their electronic health records. Among patients with documented medical cannabis use, 44.5%had documented health conditions for which cannabis use might confer benefits, and 54.5% had conditions for which it might confer risks. These findings suggest that practitioners should be prepared to discuss potential risks and benefits of cannabis use with patients.

Primary Outcomes Article: Matson T, et al. Prevalence of Medical Cannabis Use and Associated Health Conditions Documented in Electronic Health Records Among Primary Care Patients in Washington State. JAMA Network Open 2021;4(5):e219375. [get article]

    Node Involvement

    Lead Node(s):

  • Health Systems Node