Flipping the Script
Real-world evidence could help fill in the blanks on medical cannabis
Jason Dyck | | Opinion
The concept of “plants as medicines” is often met with skepticism in modern medicine, despite many popular pharmaceuticals originating in plants. There is no better example than the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, which has spawned multiple pharmaceuticals for sedation and pain management. Few in the medical community would question the efficacy of these particular plant-derived drugs, but the sentiment shifts dramatically when the conversation moves to Cannabis sativa.
Although cannabis has been used to treat various ailments for centuries (1, 2), research into the potential medical benefits of cannabis has been severely impeded by political and social influences (3, 4). Thus, even as we transition into a new age of legalization, physicians have few evidence-based guidelines for the prescription of cannabis. Some of the major barriers to physicians accepting medical cannabis as a true therapy include:
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