Top 5 Reasons Medical Cannabis will be Embraced by Doctors
by Jerry Golick
Aside from the last 100 years or so, the medical community has had a long history of using cannabis to treat a wide variety of conditions. Before it was prohibited, the American Pharmacopoeia contained dozens of references to how cannabis could be used. Today, as the barriers to research and application are lowering, doctors are beginning to re-learn what they have forgotten or had never been taught. Here are the top 5 reasons why they should:
Medical Science: In addition to the over 5000 years of documented history of using cannabis as a medicine, the last twenty years has seen an explosion in research and trials using cannabis. Using the search criteria of “cannabis” or “cannabinoids”, or “endocannabinoids” on medical reference sites such as PubMed, well over 15,000 different academic papers can be found. Whatever documentation a health care professional requires probably already exists and need only be researched (better: looked up).
Safety/Toxicity Profile: Perhaps the single most important piece of data concerning cannabis is that it is virtually impossible to take a fatal overdose. At worst, the patient may be uncomfortable for a number of hours (nausea, anxiety, paranoia, etc), but the effects pass quickly and there is no long term damage. Further, by using a prescription philosophy of “start low, go slow”, these effects can be easily avoided, especially when combined with different delivery options, different strains, and different dosing levels.
Patients can Self-Titrate: Because the onset of effect is so rapid when inhaling (normally under 5 minutes and frequently under 2 minutes), patients can easily self-titrate, finding the dose which works best for them. Currently many people use a “micro-dosing” protocol where they consume small amounts frequently during the day. This avoids any psychoactive effects (which can also be minimized through strain selection), and allows the patient a high level of control over the management of their health.
Managing the side effects of chemo and radiation therapies: Many oncologists and family doctors will already (unofficially) advise patients who are undergoing chemo or radiation therapy to use cannabis to help deal with appetite loss, nausea, fatigue and pain. This has been backed up by a number of small studies.
Bonus Point: Intractable Epilepsy in Children: A number of years ago Dr. Sanjay Gupta (a practising neurosurgeon and Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN) not only apologized for his anti-cannabis position but also broadcast a series of specials called “Weed” about the medical uses of cannabis. In particular, he featured a story about a young girl named Charlotte Figi suffering from Dravet Syndrome (essentially intractable, untreatable, severe epilepsy) and her amazing response to high-CBD cannabis. This has caused many parents and organizations to begin investigating how cannabinoids can be part of a treatment protocol for children suffering from these sort of ailments. The initial results have been very encouraging.
About the Author
Jerry Golick, medical cannabis expert with over 20 years of experience. Jerry has been giving lectures on Medical Cannabis to Seniors for decades as well as assisting Physicians in developing educational programs for them. He has given seminars, lectures, and has his articles published by numerous noteworthy publications. For more details please contact Jerry directly at email@example.com