Cannabis for Healing in a Native Community Clinic: Development and Results from an Informatics Research Tool

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2023 Apr 17:1-9. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2023.2203716. Online ahead of print.


This paper describes how the Puyallup Tribe created a clinic specializing in cannabis-based treatments and partnered with a university research team to assess the impacts of cannabis on patient outcomes. Clinic leaders and research team co-developed an informatics research tool that included survey questions about patient demographics, cannabis use, and measures of pain, depression, anxiety, other substance use, and trauma. Over the first 2.5 years of operations, 69 patients completed a survey. Participants were an average age of 50 years old (SD = 16.7), female (77.6%) and American Indian/Alaska Native (61.5%) with more than 12 years of education (66.7%). Over 77% of the participants used either cannabidiol-dominant (CBD) alone or both CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol-dominant (THC) products, nearly 23% used neither CBD nor THC products. Most came to the clinic for a pain relief appointment (70.3%). Compared to the general population, participants experienced more pain-related comorbidities, such as anxiety, fatigue, sleep, and pain, and fewer physical functioning capabilities. Over half reported symptoms consistent with depressive or post-traumatic stress disorder. The informatics research tool was successfully integrated into a unique Tribally owned medical clinic.

PMID:37068200 | DOI:10.1080/02791072.2023.2203716