The Disconnect Between Healthcare and Cannabis

Doctor holding cannabis leaf

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the emergence of CBD as a main-stream health craze, Americans have become more open to integrating cannabis into their wellness regimen. Despite their willingness, there is a huge disconnect between healthcare and cannabis. Let me explain why.

The majority of the evidence that cannabis helps with anxiety, sleep, and pain, is anecdotal and there is minimal data to support claims. Are we witnessing the placebo effect in action or is there merit to cannabis as the next wonder drug?

Nearly a century of prohibition has solidified cannabis as a scheduled narcotic and hampered research. The lack of meaningful studies results in practitioners having minimal training on how these compounds work in our body. This causes them to be uncomfortable discussing this with their patients. Additionally, the legalities related to medical use vary widely from state to state.

Patients with an interest are also hesitant to talk with their providers. They are nervous they will be accused of drug seeking or that their curiosity will be brushed off as complete and utter nonsense.

This leads to the disconnect we see between healthcare and cannabis. Patients are forced to dive into a sea of questionable information that exists on the internet instead of talking to their doctor. Social Media provides an outlet for self-proclaimed “experts” to give advice to naïve consumers, putting them at higher risk of running into issues or not getting the results they were promised.

This is why we emphasize the importance of practitioners educating themselves on cannabis. More patients than ever are interested in alternative medicine. If a provider is unwilling to entertain this, patients often make misguided choices leaving their treatment team in the dark. This can potentially affect other conditions, medications, and patient outcomes.

Finding professionals that are knowledgeable on cannabis can make all the difference. Dosing, cannabinoid ratios, terpene profiles, and product selection all play a factor in getting the results and safety patients are looking for. There are well over 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis and they all have different therapeutic effects. There is little research at this time and most physicians don’t know anything about them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective.

There is a lot to consider when trying to find the right products. Current medications, body weight, experience with cannabis. Many options are less mainstream than THC and CBD, but have tremendous potential medical value. Here are 3 cannabinoids not named THC or CBD that physicians and patients should learn more about:

  1. Delta8 THC (Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol) The current fad in the hemp industry. Delta-8 is an isomer of THC that can be converted from CBD, making it hemp derived and federally legal. Extremely mild intoxication, unlike Delta-9 THC, the main constituent responsible for the “high” feeling. Hemp retailers are salivating at the business proposition a federally legal THC product presents, but more interesting is a similar therapeutic value to Delta9 with much lower risk of cognitive impairment or elevated anxiety. This could be a game changer, but more research is needed. You can check out some Delta8 products by clicking HERE.
  1. CBN (Cannabinol) occurs when cannabinoids degrade over time due to oxygen and light. It has been shown to contain antibacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and potentially sedating properties. We see a lot of positive feedback from patients that complain of sleep difficulties, but more information and research is needed to truly understand the benefits of this compound. You can check out CBN products by clicking HERE.
  1. CBG (Cannabigerol) is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid with anti-inflammatory properties. It is gaining popularity with both manufacturers and consumers. More research is needed, but some preliminary evidence shows it shows promise for intraocular pressure, irritable bowel, bladder dysfunction, bacterial infections, certain cancers, and appetite loss. You can check out CBG products by clicking HERE.

The best advice we can give is to do your research and find knowledgeable professionals that can help guide you on your cannabis journey. If you live in a state with a legal medical program, find a local dispensary or hemp retailer and ask a lot of questions. As for us, we will continue our efforts to bridge the gap between healthcare and cannabis.

If you are interested in learning more, visit www.eastcoastherbalist.com and check out some of our resources. We are very hands on with customers and offer free consultations to answer questions and help you explore your options. You can contact us by telephone, email, or through our social media channels. Thanks for reading.

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