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Doctors Complain about Medical Marijuana Knowledge Gap

medical marijuana, MMJ
Photo by Lochfoot

CNN recently interviewed a physician in Maine who said she would like to counsel her patients on the use of medical marijuana but feels unprepared.

And Maine passed its Medical Marijuana Act in 1999.

Dr. Jean Antonucci told CNN that she still feels “completely in the dark” about whether marijuana is the right way to treat an ailment, what the dose should be and whether a patient should smoke it, eat it, apply it or vaporize it.

Most physicians have never been trained to deal with these issues, which are still not covered in medical schools.

“We desperately need well-controlled unbiased large scale research studies into the efficacy of cannabis for treating disease states, which we have very little of right now,” Sachin Patel of Vanderbilt University told Time. “Without these studies, we are basically flying blind with regard to medical marijuana in my opinion.”

Hopefully this situation will change as medical marijuana is finally being taken more seriously.

Some states are beginning to require doctors to take continuing medical education courses that detail how marijuana interacts with the nervous system and other medications, as well as its side effects.

Many researchers, those who believe MMJ is beneficial, as well as the skeptics, agree that the government’s stance hinders research.

“I understand the cautious nature of the government… but it is disappointing that marijuana continues to be included on the DEA’s list of the most dangerous drugs,” said Dr. Yasmin Hurd of Mount Sinai, who studies the effects of marijuana on the brain.

Some states, like New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio are developing certification programs, which consist of four-hour courses required for doctors who choose to participate in their state’s medical marijuana programs.

Physicians appear to welcome the opportunity to learn more. According to a 2013 study in Colorado, more than 80 percent of family doctors thought physicians needed medical training before recommending marijuana.

But some advocates are concerned that doctors may find the required courses, as short as they are, to be burdensome and opt out, ultimately affecting patients’ access to relief, said Ellen Smith, a board member of the U.S. Pain Foundation, which supports expanded access to medical cannabis.

Education is essential, given the complexity of how marijuana interacts with the body and how little physicians know, said Stephen Corn, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School.

“You need a multi-hour course to learn where the medical cannabis works within the body,” Corn said. “As a patient, would you want a doctor blindly recommending something without knowing how it’s going to interact with your other medications What to expect from it? What not to expect?”

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ken merriman

    August 25, 2016 at 11:46 am

    the data such as it is, is out there for those who want to seek it out
    luckily the therapeutic

    index for cannabis is extremely broad and the risk of sig unwanted effects is rather low

    the use of cannabis for a multitude of ailments will be increasing greatly in the near future and beyond

    here’s hoping that the govt will get it’s head unstuck from it’s nether parts and be a help in this as opposed to a hindrance, as they have been so far

  2. Avatar

    TOPDOG1

    August 26, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    States don’t need the D.E.A.or F.D.A. These groups with their secret courts and loyalty purges have become a haven and stronghold used to fund their Authoritarian police regime along with their greedy puppets placed in political office.You don’t need them, I don’t need them. Nobody needs the D.E.A. and F.D.A..Nor these and the other gangs of Federal and state drug enforcement thugs. we do not need them. Their foul nest needs to be cleaned out and the entire area fumigated. Marijuana and pain medication are just the tip of the iceberg of hundreds of examples of their incompetence and abuse of power. Instead of using these positions to aid and protect the world citizen, they are using them as a base and stronghold to fund and build their Authoritarian regime.The way to control the drug problem is to get the D.E.A., The F.D.A. and the other law and order thugs out of the picture. It is they who have created and manufactured the problems.Other country’s that allow its citizens access to pain medications and marijuana have no serious drug problem. It is these law enforcement Authoritarians and their political puppets along with law enforcement thugs who are using drugs as an excuse to wage war on the American Citizen and especially as an excuse to strip away everyone’s Civil and Human liberty’s. These renegade law enforcement groups are striping and plundering, bilking the social grant funding resources like a pack of hounds through a garbage can..All;to fund their drug war against everyone except themselves. Hundreds of millions of dollars, billions nationwide. This plundering and pilfering from the grant system and robbery of Americans must stop

    • Avatar

      xxx

      September 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Your a waste if f breath

      • Avatar

        TOPDOG1

        September 18, 2016 at 5:56 pm

        Can’t you find someone else to stalk. I(strongly) suggest you get off at the next stop..

      • Avatar

        TOPDOG1

        September 18, 2016 at 6:15 pm

        Use spell check you f..ing idiot and get your nose out of my ass!

  3. Avatar

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    August 31, 2016 at 7:36 pm

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  4. Avatar

    Larry Williams

    September 20, 2016 at 1:59 pm

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  5. Avatar

    Dr Megan Ann

    September 23, 2016 at 4:28 pm

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  6. Avatar

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    October 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

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  7. Avatar

    Dr Megan Ann

    October 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Are you depressed, suffering from cancer, glaucoma, headache, insomnia, joint pains, multiply sclerosis, muscle spasms, nausea, etc and need the best strains of medical marijuana to help ease your pain?? Why not try out our wide range of products today??
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