Why doctors need to keep up with the latest cannabis research

Published Aug 1, 2019 01:44 p.m. ET
iStock / Esther Kelleter

Medical marijuana has been available in Canada since the late ’90s, and yet, our medical professionals are not required to learn from cannabis research. Now that recreational consumption is also legal. It begs the question of why such a new and obviously popular element of our society isn’t being talked about by those we trust most with our physical and mental health. Though the reasons why are vast and can get deep into the world of conspiracy theories, so we won’t delve into that today. Instead, we will focus on five of the reasons why doctors should be kept updated on the latest and most influential cannabis research.

1. Patients deserve fewer damaging options to pharmaceuticals

Drugs have always been an issue in society, but none have been so prevalent as those we are experiencing at epidemic levels today. Now, we see the results of a population that has been prescribed medications that have highly addictive tendencies.  Medical marijuana doesn’t come paired with this adverse effect, and it can be just as effective when used as a painkiller, which is the number one reason that doctors prescribe opioids. Even if you were to ignore the addictive medications, there are a host of other side effects that can often outweigh the benefits that are achieved by more traditional medicines. All of which are virtually non-existent with marijuana use, especially when a healthy method of ingestion is chosen.

2. People are still experiencing discrimination when they inquire about how to get a medical marijuana card

Have you ever asked your doctor to help you learn about how to get a medical marijuana card? If you have, then chances are you have been provided with little to no information. Unfortunately, many medical professionals are restricted by their old school propaganda fueled beliefs, and since they aren’t forced to learn better, many will avoid the topic entirely. The few that don’t either don’t know what to suggest or have no idea where, to begin with, proper dosing to treat the medical condition at hand. This leaves patients with either no medication or a poorly designed treatment plan that may or may not offer relief.

3. Honesty leads to a better quality of healthcare

In order for your doctor to provide you with the absolute best care, they need to know about the types of substances that are going into your body. Those are accessing recreationally focused products rather than medical marijuana, are much less likely to disclose this information to a doctor that isn’t educated, and open about cannabis in general. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD can interfere with how the body processes many commonly prescribed medications, and there is nothing scarier than your medicine not working, and not understanding why.

4. Cannabis research is always evolving and showing great promise so far.

Most medical professionals are required to brush up on their training through various upgrading courses that are made for this purpose. Unfortunately, they are also expected to make a sound decision in which ones they take, and the majority will travel across the world to learn about the latest and greatest pharmaceuticals but are less than thrilled at the idea of spending money and time learning about a therapeutic treatment that they do not have faith in. Chances are unless you are visiting a cannabis clinic, your doctor has little to no formal instruction on any of the benefits or adverse effects of marijuana use.

5. There are currently no government-affiliated organizations that offer reliable advice for medical marijuana

Since doctors are not required to understand medical marijuana to prescribe it, you would think that there would be another legitimate system in place for both consumers and patients to have their questions answered with real and reliable information. Despite both recreational and medical cannabis now being widely available across the country, there is no system, program, or organization that is meant to provide the public with answers. This leaves patients relying on exaggeration or outright wrong websites, trying to treat themselves with the only tool that they do have in their arsenal. Google.

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