The entire world has become much more liberal when it comes to cannabis, and Canada is often seen as the leader of the pro-cannabis movement. Not only has the country legalized recreational weed on a federal level, but Canadians have been able to access medical marijuana since the early 2000s.
But just because medical weed has been legal for close to 2 decades doesn’t mean that all healthcare professionals are on board with it. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that many doctors started prescribing medical cannabis for the first time – and there are still many who are unwilling to do so.
The good news for medical marijuana patients is that the percentage of doctors and NPs who are writing scripts for “grams per day” has skyrocketed. There are a lot of reasons for this – legality, more liberal thinking, more updated research on medical cannabis.
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why Canadian doctors in particular are writing more scripts for medical marijuana to their patients – and whether it’s right for you.
Cannabis Is More Accepted and More Accessible
Acceptance rates relating to cannabis among Canadians have increased exponentially, and not just since legalization. Over the decades, the percentage of pro-weed supporters increased slightly with each passing year, and now in 2020, it’s at an all-time high.
It’s impossible to deny that legalization has played a major role, though. According to a National Cannabis Survey from 2019, “about 5.3 million or 18% of Canadians aged 15 years and older reported using cannabis in the last three months. This was higher than the 14% who reported using just one year earlier, before legalization.”
The same survey found that “the increase in cannabis use between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019 can be partly explained by greater use among males and people aged 45 to 64.” The higher age range suggests that many of these cannabis users are trying it out for the potential health benefits.
Medical professionals aren’t susceptible to this pro-weed attitude, especially when it comes to young healthcare providers who are just joining the industry. Since more patients are accepting of cannabis, the same is true for doctors.
Scientific Research Supports It
The majority of doctors are all about the facts and figures, and scientific research plays a huge role in their medical practices and beliefs. Although a lot of research regarding cannabis for medical use is inconclusive, many studies suggest that it can be beneficial for a variety of conditions.
Doctors who prescribe medical cannabis aren’t just writing these scripts because they think it’s the “cool” thing to do. They’ve done their research and come to their own conclusions, and for many of them it’s hard to deny that cannabis can make a difference for their patients – especially considering the extensive research that’s been done on the topic.
It’s Often Viewed As a Holistic Alternative
In today’s day and age, many prescribed substances are abused, and some of them even lead to addiction. This is especially true for opioid medications like oxycodone and fentanyl, and although these meds are meant to help people, they often cause more harm than good.
This is why many patients have started to seek more holistic alternatives to treating pain, and healthcare professionals are following suit. There are of course some potential risks involved with cannabis use, but the chances of developing an addiction aren’t there (like they are with opioids).
In the past (and even in the present for some people), cannabis was viewed as something harmful. But now with the current opioid crisis going on, attitudes have transformed. Using medical marijuana is now viewed as a more holistic, safer alternative for many patients.
Is It the Right Treatment Route for You?
The answer to this question varies from patient to patient, and there’s no way of determining it without consulting with a medical professional. When consulting with a doctor, try to talk to someone who is familiar with your condition, symptoms, and current treatment.
The other thing that medical patients need to realize is that this isn’t a viable treatment route for every individual. Even if someone is suffering from the same symptoms and cannabis works for him or her, it might not be the best option for you. But there’s no harm in trying as long as you have consulted with your doctor and both determined that it’s safe to give it a go.