So you have questions about how to use cannabis, whether or not there's evidence supporting its use for certain conditions, or just want to make sure that it's not interacting with your other medications, supplements, or food. Where do you start? In this article, we'll discuss some of the challenges that currently exist in the cannabis industry regarding reliable clinical information as well as some possible solutions.
Have you talked to your doctor about cannabis? If so, how much did they know about it? Did they provide explicit recommendations on what strain, dose, route, frequency, etc. to consider specific to you? Have you gone to a dispensary? Were there any medically trained professionals there for you to speak with? As you ask yourself these questions, maybe it's dawning on you that, although cannabis is considered a medicine, it's not exactly treated like one.
The use of cannabis has grown tremendously over recent years, especially in light of legislative changes now making it legal across many states. People are turning to cannabis for the management of a number of conditions such as seizure disorder and multiple sclerosis, however, reliable clinical cannabis resources are sparse at best. As a result, patients and providers alike often lack the knowledge needed to confidently determine whether or not cannabis is a viable treatment option, and if so, how it should be used. Combing through the literature on a case-by-case basis is time-consuming and often impractical for doctors, so it often isn't done. As a recent study by Braun et al (2018) demonstrated, only 30% of medical oncologists, a group of doctors who some would feel would be well-versed in cannabis therapy, felt knowledgeable enough to make recommendations regarding the medical use of cannabis. To take it a step further, over half of the oncologists surveyed (56%) who made clinical recommendations supporting the use of cannabis considered themselves as not having sufficient knowledge to even do so.
Given the poor knowledge surrounding cannabis therapy in the medical community, patients end up going to dispensaries for guidance. Unfortunately, dispensaries are not required to staff medically trained personnel so the information disseminated by “budtenders” to patients is highly subjective, fraught with misinformation, and does not take into consideration the medical complexities of a patient such as age, other diseases, or medications.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a medical professional like a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist available to answer all of your cannabis questions and provide ongoing support? Well, guess what? We think so, too! We want to provide you with the clinical resources needed to facilitate the safe and effective use of cannabis specific to your own unique medical history. We’re also looking to help you get access to cannabis by delivering it right to your door on a regular basis once we've worked with you to figure out what the best option is for you. Even after you've gotten your cannabis and initial consultation, we'll continue working with you to make sure you're getting the relief you're looking for while minimizing the potential for side effects. Our evidence-based clinical cannabis database, patient portal, and delivery service are designed to make sure people like you are getting the most out of cannabis with the least amount of effort while also minimizing the potential for side effects.
About the author
Kareem Abdalla is a pharmacist and has worked in various settings ranging from level 1 trauma hospitals to retail pharmacies and even world-renowned oncology and children's hospitals. He's super passionate about cannabis, especially after gaining relief from it himself and seeing its impact on others around him. He's working with doctors and other professionals at Harvard Medical School to further develop solutions to some of the problems listed in this article. Kareem also has experience with cultivating cannabis as well as creating different formulations of medicines given his experience in compounding. He's a friendly dude and welcomes you to CannaClarified! Don't hesitate to reach out, drop a comment, or share this post with your community. He wants to push the cannabis industry forward, but in the right way, and he needs your help to do this!