Cannabis and healthcare
Traditional medicine: A top-down approach
Current healthcare paradigms operate as an active feedback loop.
- A physician starts at the top assessing symptoms, diagnosing medical conditions, and prescribing medicine.
- A pharmacist dispenses these medications at your local pharmacy ensuring patient safety from duplicate drug therapies and drug-drug interactions.
- Through trial & error, dosages or therapies may require readjustment, circling back to the physician for reevaluation.
Cannabis-based healthcare: A bottom-up approach
Routes of traditional research and clinical trials are hindered due to the federal Schedule I designation of cannabis. As a result, integrating cannabis into health regimens isn’t accompanied by standardized therapies or universally accepted protocols yet. Individual state-led medical cannabis programs provide a patchwork of rules and regulations and offer 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 are constantly being developed in this space. Patients and consumers must ensure their information is obtained 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 will 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.