New JAMA Report Discusses How Doctors Lack Education About Cannabis


Cannabis has the thumbs up of the government for medical use in 34 states and it is legal for adults in 10 of them. The herb is trending in the wellness industry and yet, people are confused about it. Surprisingly, even doctors are not very aware about the use of medical marijuana. In an op-ed published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Nathaniel Morris the lack of knowledge physicians have about cannabis has been discussed.

The author of the report, Morris, went to medical school in California where the plant has been legal for 23 years now. However, to get knowledge about cannabis he turned to patients rather than his education syllabus. This is not the first time it has come to light that medical professionals are not taking marijuana seriously. Previously, it has been noted that patients are shamed rather than guided by physicians about their use of cannabis for the treatment of health concerns.

Several people have started self-use and even more so don’t even discuss marijuana use with their doctors in fear of being shamed or because they know the doctor would be ignorant on the matter. What some patients do is that they smoke pot in their hospital rooms and there have been cases of heavy marijuana users who experience negative reactions due to taking very high doses. This makes doctors take away their weed which causes withdrawal symptoms.

What happens due to this is such patients keep suffering with anxiety, chronic pain or whatever for which they were taking cannabis. Morris also referred to a study from 2016 which had found that only 9% of medical schools had some curricular content on marijuana. Meanwhile 85% of medical residents didn’t get any education at all on the subject. The situation is such that cannabis use is spreading and drugs based on it are out there but doctors who prescribe them don’t know much.

The author also wrote that much about the effects that marijuana has on health is not known which makes doctors skeptical. This cannot be called true as several studies have been conducted on cannabis use and been published in reliable and renowned journals. In fact, the internet is full of information waiting to be explored. Morris ended his JAMA piece by writing, “most of my medical training around marijuana has been realizing how much I still have to learn.”

Recently another study also explored how doctors are judgmental toward marijuana using patients. Published in the journal Drugs & Aging, this report found that there’s lack of education, research, communication, access, and information when it comes to cannabis use. In fact, people are hesitant when it comes to discussing the topic even. Due to this, many patients do not purchase their marijuana legally despite it being available.

There’s a dire need for doctors and professionals to expand their knowledge when it comes to cannabis. This will allow for better use and will decrease the chances of negative side effects due to incorrect usage.


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