While attitudes and policies about medical cannabis are changing there are still lots of controversy in its use. Research team from the University of Haifa, Israel has conducted interviews with physicians to get better understanding of what physicians think about medical cannabis and if they would prescribe it. This is important research because physicians are the ones that can influence the usage of medical cannabis and treatment policies.
Medical cannabis has been used through the centuries by different cultures until it was prohibited in the 1930s and this affected people’s attitude towards cannabis and created a stigma. Traditionally the research involving cannabis was focused on its potential harms than medical uses. This inevitable will affect the prescription of medical cannabis today when its use is approved for some medical conditions.
The interviews that the researchers conducted were with physicians in USA. They have interviewed 24 physicians. Out of all 24 physicians 2 responded that they would not prescribe medical cannabis.
What are their main concerns?
- The variety of cannabis strains is causing concerns regarding which one would be better for specific condition – lack of enough evidence for medical benefits of specific strains
- Lack of sufficient information regarding potential adverse events
- Lack of information regarding the quality of the medical cannabis – they don’t know what is in it
- They associate medical cannabis with smoking
- Potential addiction and safety – how this will affect their driving and if patients will get addicted to it
Medical cannabis would need more research to help physicians make the right decisions when to prescribe it. Also it is evident that cannabis stigma is still here and affects its medical use.
Medical cannabis: An oxymoron? Physicians’ perceptions of medical cannabis