Aussies are going potty for cannabis as a medicine

Back pain, anxiety and sleep problems top the list of health reasons people use the recreational drug

Australians who use cannabis to self-manage health conditions take it an average of three times a day for about 20 days a month, at a cost of around $94 a week, a survey reveals.

The anonymous online survey on how Australians use recreational cannabis medicinally, undertaken before legislation was passed for its use, revealed participants had taken it for an average of 10 years.

Most obtaining the drug illegally through dealers or family and friends, with more than 80% inhaling the drug.

The almost 1750 participants mostly used cannabis for anxiety, back pain, depression and sleep problems, according to the University of Sydney researchers. 

Forty per cent of them met DSM-5 criteria for cannabis use disorder, with 17% having a moderate or severe use disorder.

Most participants reported positive health outcomes, but also frequent side effects, including increased