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Perceptions of Medical Marijuana In The Healthcare Industry

Perceptions of Medical Marijuana In The Healthcare Industry

Posted by Nd Epka on Aug 13th 2020

Doc Patels CEO and Founder, Dr. Rachna Patel, is a world-recognized expert in the field of Cannabinoid Medicine and she’s been following the trends of medical marijuana and other cannabinoids such as CBD since 2012. By staying up to date with the latest news and studies surrounding Cannabinoid Medicine, our team at Doc Patels is able to better help others looking to understand the world of cannabinoids and other alternative medicines.

With the different uses and benefits of medical marijuana coming to light over the years, below you’ll find a study that analyzes the perceptions of medical marijuana in the healthcare industry among joint doctors to get a better understanding of public opinion. This study is relevant because it helps us better gage what people think about marijuana in today’s society and how that can affect the future of the healthcare and cannabis industry.

Background

Cannabis has been used centuries for the treatment of pain. However, its recent criminalization has led to a lack of research into its effectiveness leading to ignorance and hesitation about its dosage and administration by medical providers. This has led to limited use in the medical field, apart from terminally ill patients and those with cancer. Public perception is changing this as more patients inquire about the use of medical cannabis. This in context of a growing chronic pain issue across the globe has led to renewed interest in treatment alternatives such as medical cannabis. Doctors at the forefront of this battle, those such as joint doctors and pain specialists, are now trying to balance public desire to know more about medical cannabis with the need to maintain medical integrity and professionalism. The following study took several joint doctors also known as rheumatologists, and surveyed their perception on the use of medical cannabis in Israel to better understand public opinion and next steps going forward.

Methods

The Israeli Society of Rheumatology sent a 3 part online survey to its 119 members requesting information on responders demographics, perception of medical cannabis and its variants, and patient interactions regarding medical cannabis. The survey was adopted from a Canadian survey and was translated from English to Hebrew by one of the authors of the paper.  

Results

Surveying yielded a 19% response rate with the responders consisting of mostly male attendings and residents older than 35 at academic institutions for more than 10 years.

Results revealed that 74% of responders were not confident with their current knowledge of the various cannabis molecules, known as cannabinoids, while 22% felt somewhat confident.

74% of respondents believe that cannabinoids could play some role in management of joint pain compared to 17% who did not, and 78% were not confident writing prescriptions.

82.6% of the responders did say that they would consider medical cannabis when conventional modes of treatment had failed, with 61% previously prescribing some form of cannabis to patients.  

Discussion

Israeli rheumatologists lack confidence and have significant concerns regarding the use of medical cannabis, however still remain open to its use.

These results were comparable to the results of the Canadian survey of its basis, which revealed about a 75% lack of confidence in cannabinoid knowledge and ability to write a prescription.

From there, the similarities stopped with a less favorable view of cannabis from the Canadian perspective. Candaian providers had a decreased support for cannabis role in treatment reporting 30% versus the Israeli 48% for the “some role in treatment” metric and 28% versus the Israeli 83% for using cannabis when other treatment modes fail.

These differences suggest a greater worry of the uncertainties of medical cannabis in Canada due in part to rapidly changing legislation and lack of evidence on the subject matter.

Despite the varying views on cannabis use by rheumatologists it is important for providers in the field to be knowledgeable of the subject to best treat their patients. Furthermore with limited effectiveness of the currently approved treatment options and a growing population of cannabis users it is prudent that rheumatologists take the lead on researching the optimal response and long term effects cannabis has on joint pain management.

Research Referenced:

About The Author:

Nd Ekpa - "I completed my undergraduate studies at Franklin & Marshall College and am currently completing a dual degree in medicine and business at Penn State University. I have spent most of my pre-clinical years working with patients with chronic diseases which is where my interest in alternative forms of pain relief began. I hope to continue to develop this interest as an Emergency Medicine physician."