journal Cannabis and cannabinoid research It was published new survey dataLast month, in an article titled “Physician Attitudes and Practices Regarding Cannabis and Advocacy for Medical Cannabis Use,” the majority of physicians finally found sufficient evidence to guide their patients about the potential use of medical cannabis. I discovered that some people reported that they did not have sufficient knowledge.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and involved 244 physicians.
Doctors still need cannabis education
At the beginning of the study, medical marijuana users were less likely to trust or rely on cannabis advice from their health care providers. in fact, Research so far It shows that many patients tend to avoid conversations about medical cannabis with their healthcare professionals altogether. The authors say previous surveys of physicians have focused on a “favorite for medical cannabis.”
“Current research is looking at how physicians interact with their patients regarding cannabis in their day-to-day practice and how they address important topics such as usage patterns and the use of cannabis instead of drugs. are evaluated,” the author writes. They also predicted that surveyed physicians would generally perceive cannabis clinic staff and caregivers as less competent in addressing the health needs of their patients and would be less likely to use their recommendations. bottom.
Physicians were selected from university-affiliated healthcare systems and completed an anonymous online survey. It aims to assess physicians’ experience in cannabis-related education, perceived knowledge of medical cannabis, and the content of cannabis-related discussions with patients. The researchers also investigated physicians’ perceptions of medical cannabis dispensing staff, medical cannabis caregivers, and their impact on patients.
They found that 10% of physicians had signed medical cannabis approval forms for their patients. Physicians who discussed cannabis with their patients tended to focus primarily on risks (63%) rather than dosage (6%) or mitigation of harm (25%).
The authors note that physicians also viewed their influence on patients as “weak” compared to other sources. Most respondents said they had “low knowledge and competence” when it came to medical cannabis. However, consistent with their hypothesis, most physicians had a “generally unfavorable attitude” toward medical cannabis dispensing staff and medical cannabis caregivers.
Knowledge of cannabis in the medical field: an ongoing issue
Ultimately, researchers concluded that lack of physician knowledge was the most frequently cited reason for not making medical cannabis recommendations. To solve this problem, they propose a “greater integration” of medical cannabis into medicine, along with increased medical education to “maximize its benefits and minimize its risks.” .
“Medical cannabis knowledge needs to be further integrated at all levels of medical and clinical education to address the potential harm to patients in the absence of guidance,” said the authors. “Continued research is needed to provide a strong scientific basis for developing treatment guidelines and standardized medical education for medical cannabis use.”
This result is consistent with previous research on medical cannabis and health care providers.
In 2022, Similarity research Of the 145 medical residents in the Mount Sinai Morningside-West program, most had no training in medical cannabis use. Specifically, 93% of respondents said they did not have sufficient knowledge of the overall effects of cannabis, 97% said they did not have sufficient knowledge of the indications to be addressed, and 83% said they had adequate knowledge of the subject. Not knowing where to find information, 92% agreed to include medical cannabis education in their training.
Catch 22 Seeking Medical Cannabis Guidance
Given this trend, other studies have looked at how medical cannabis patients actually obtain medical cannabis guidance.one Recent research Four patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) most frequently used clinic staff (38%) and friends (32%) for general information about cannabis in MS. I noticed. The most commonly reported source of medical guidance among patients who used medical cannabis at some point in their lives was ‘None, not even me’, followed by pharmacy professionals (21%). followed. Only 12% depended on their doctor for information.
While this trend may clash with physicians’ beliefs, it reflects a gap in medical education regarding medical cannabis use and treatment.
One 2020 investigation Less than 1 in 5 patients were found to believe their primary caregiver was knowledgeable about cannabis-specific health issues. Who should patients turn to instead if they don’t believe their doctor has the information they need?
The authors ultimately held the medical field accountable, stating in the study’s conclusion that “primary care providers need to be knowledgeable about cannabinoids in order to best support patient care,” stating that the study added that we need to continue to address the potential benefits and harms of cannabis.