By Roland Sebestyén
A survey found that while a high number of health clinicians acknowledge that cannabis use could be of help in treating some conditions, very few have ever prescribed it to someone in need of the treatment.
According to the survey published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, almost 70% of American health clinicians believe that cannabis has medical benefits However, only around 27% said they had recommended cannabis to a patient.
Also, researchers found that a significant number of clinicians didn’t understand the “scientific evidence” behind the medicine.
Paul Armentano, NORML’s Deputy Director, said: “Overwhelming majorities of patients and their providers acknowledge that cannabis is legitimate medicine.
“Politicians should not be standing in their way by opposing efforts to permit medical professionals from recommending cannabis to their patients in instances where they believe it is therapeutically appropriate.”
The researchers said that they got data from 1506 family practice doctors, internists, nurse practitioners, and oncologists who responded to the 2018 DocStyles, a web-based panel survey of clinicians.
Questions assessed medicinal uses for and practices related to cannabis and assessed clinicians’ knowledge of cannabis legality in their state.
Although the results of the first part of the question were shocking, the authors had another twist for us: according to the data, nearly 60% of the clinicians didn’t even know the legal status of medical cannabis in the very state they work in.
It is widely reported that medical cannabis use is legal in 33 US states and the District of Columbia.
Authors concluded: “Findings suggest that while clinicians believe that cannabis has medicinal uses, they may not have a full understanding of the scientific evidence and may not accurately understand their state-based policies for cannabis legalisation and use.
“Given that clinicians are responsible for recommending medicinal cannabis in most states that have legalised it, ongoing education about the health effects of cannabis is warranted.”