In the 21st century, cannabis is slowly being accepted as a way to treat a variety of different illnesses. However, a large number of doctors and physicians remain in the dark (for the most part) about the topic of cannabis and its different medical uses due to the insufficient amount of research on hand, so they may not be the best to ask for cannabis advice.
As the plant is becoming more accepted by society and people are being increasingly curious about its medical properties, many may find it a slight shock when their doctors don’t know much about the plant or its therapeutic benefits.
In 2019 the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an op-ed by Stanford University School of Medicine resident physician Dr. Nathaniel Morris that documented the growing discrepancy of medical cannabis knowledge and their patients.
The publication states that the vast majority of doctors are woefully uneducated on the biochemical effects, legality, and current clinical research associated with cannabis, especially when comparing the rapidly increasing pool of patients using the plant for medical uses. Morris bases this statement on his own anecdotal experience as a physician along with recent statistical evidence.
Current cannabis research
To date, research has concluded that cannabis is an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fibromyalgia, arthritis, and even cancer. The reason why cannabis works as a treatment to these illnesses is often through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – the body’s receptors, enzymes, and lipids that interact with cannabis compounds and aiding in the maintenance of balance and the regulation of several bodily functions.
This can be supported by research that many illnesses may derive from cannabinoid deficiencies, thus logically making these illnesses treatable (to some extent) by marijuana. The more that cannabis is explored, the more doctors are starting to take notice of its positive medical properties.
Doctors are increasingly studying cannabis effects
The shortage of knowledge is gradually changing, physicians and pharmacists are learning more and more about the medical effects of cannabis. In a study conducted in January 2019 by the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, 62% of U.S. pharmacy school respondents reported that they include medical cannabis in their curriculum while completing their doctorate of pharmacy. The study also reported that 23% of the participants who hadn’t incorporated cannabis in their curriculum had plans to do so within the next year.
There are still many changes that need to take place before cannabis can be fully incorporated into official medical treatment – however, the changes are coming and fast. With more patients curious about cannabis as a treatment solution, doctors don’t have much choice but to start educating themselves about all the medical aspects of the plant so they can provide accurate cannabis advice.