Healthcare Provider & Medical Cannabis Research Study
We believe that communication between healthcare providers and medical cannabis patients regarding referral and medication substitution must be enhanced. Therefore, continuous and evidence-based research must be conducted to advanced knowledge surrounding cannabis industry.
Where We Are Now?
Thirty-five states in the US have legislated medical cannabis programs. Despite being designated a Schedule I drug under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act in the US, a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report found evidence advocating the medicinal significance of cannabinoids (active compounds in cannabis) for several medical conditions. However, the proof of other conditions allowed by state medical laws (e.g., depression) was insufficient. These conditions highlight the need for a strong healthcare provider presence in discussions about safe cannabis use in the context of medication.
On the other hand, healthcare providers consistently voice a lack of knowledge about medical cannabis. Several studies show that less than 10% of medical schools cover medical cannabis, and about 80% of physicians reported needing additional cannabis education. Further, when physicians are approached for medical cannabis suggestions, there are no standard guidelines for proper medical use. Among patients, those using cannabis may not come to healthcare providers for suspicion of stigma or legal trouble. Indeed, some institutional policies prevent physicians from advising medical cannabis, and patients may yield employment due to a positive drug screen even if they have a medical cannabis license. Many people may use cannabis without knowledge or input from their primary healthcare providers (PCPs), highlighting the lack of integration of medical cannabis into the "conventional" healthcare environments.
Our studies further explored this lack of integration by surveying healthcare providers and medical professionals regarding their cannabis knowledge and perspective to lead future decision-making and help contribute to more significant conversations between patients and providers surrounding medical cannabis.
This resource collaborative is housed at the Cannabis Center of Excellence, INC. This work is made possible with funding from partners and collaborators.
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