Currently, defining the risks and benefits of medical marijuana use is a grey area due to the limited number of clinical trials that have been conducted. It’s no secret that there are still individuals who hold a negative stigma on marijuana use and physicians who prefer to prescribe medications to their patients that have more research done.
In the past 13 years, the number of medical marijuana users has sky rocketed from 500 to over 50, 000. Inevitably, this is leading for many people to want answers about the short term and long term effects of medical marijuana usage.
The Canadian Medical Association states that not enough is known of the effects of medical cannabis and it’s interaction with other medication, and proper dosing in accordance to each specific patient. Due to the fact that there is insufficient scientific evidence available to support the use of prescription cannabis, this is making things for those who pursuit this medication more difficult than it should be.
“It was very difficult to get my prescription,” said Jennawae McLean, who uses medical marijuana for chronic pain due to arthritis. “A doctor was willing to prescribe me Percocet’s and Humira and Lyrica and different pills like this, but they weren’t willing to prescribe cannabis … which has no recorded deaths, no overdoses, no negative long-term side effects. It just doesn’t make sense.” *
Marijuana studies are at a disadvantage when you compare the clinical trials to that of other pharmaceuticals. Most big name drug companies are backed up by million dollar investments to support continued research and studies. The stigma persists when there is not as much support over an herbal solution one could essentially grow in their backyard at little or no cost of production.
Until more concrete studies are conducted, many physicians will continue to feel uncomfortable prescribing medical cannabis to their patients due to safety concerns. Clinical trials on marijuana use is increasing, with a variety of projects such as Apollo’s in progress. The end goal is to prove the effectiveness and safety of marijuana usage with not only chronic pain, but other conditions ranging from Crohn’s disease to chronic seizures, and so much more.