Cannabis and healthcare
Traditional medicine: A top-down approach
The current healthcare paradigm operates as an active feedback loop.
- A physician starts at the top. They are here to assess symptoms, diagnose medical conditions, and prescribe medicine.
- A pharmacist dispenses these medications at your local pharmacy ensuring patient safety from duplicate drug therapies and drug-drug interactions.
- Through trial & error, the dosage or therapy may require readjustment, circling back to the physician for reevaluation
Cannabis-based healthcare: A bottom-up approach
Cannabis is federally labeled as a Schedule I controlled substance, hindering crucial routes of traditional research and clinical trials. As a result, unlike the current healthcare paradigm, standardized therapies and protocols for patients integrating cannabis in their health regimens are not universally established yet. Individual state-led medical cannabis programs provide a patch-work of rules and regulations while offering unique assortments of products and potencies across state lines adding another layer of complexity to the equation for patient care. Cannabis-based healthcare relies heavily on a bottom-up approach rooted in education that’s still emerging, professionals working side-by-side with patients, and an emphasis on responsible self-discovery.
Clinicians like pharmacists, nurses, and doctors experienced in cannabis-based medicine should be guiding patients through product selection, potential drug-drug interactions, and recommended dosage/frequency of use based on specific health goals.
Cannabis professionals in local dispensaries can speak about the different types of cannabis and cannabis-based products that are available within their facilities. They should be used as a primary resource for feedback on specific items.
New research and information is constantly being developed in this space. It’s imperative for patients and consumers to obtain their information from reliable, objective, data-driven sources.
Integrating cannabis with healthcare is a highly individualized process. Getting the product and dosage right for a patient’s specific goal might require trial & error and patience. Encouragement and empathy should be provided every step of the way.
Practicing responsible consumption habits and using a scientific approach will yield the most successful results. The idea of taking control of our own health and clinical outcomes may seem unnatural at first, but cannabis-based healthcare presents an opportunity for self-empowered wellness.
Through collaborative efforts, cannabis provides unique self-empowering avenues of ownership of ones mental, physical, and spiritual health. For the canna-curious, take a step back to educate yourselves on the history of cannabis and the effects bureaucracy has had on its development. As barriers of research and access continue breaking down, the resounding theme must be to deepen roots, and always continue the conversation. Learn. Grow. Give back. Repeat.