Canada should continue with separate medical stream after cannabis is legalized for recreational use

July 17, 2017
cannabis
Cannabis indica. Credit: Wikipedia

After cannabis is legalized, Canada should continue with a separate medical cannabis stream to keep patients safe, argues a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, appointed by the , has also recommended this two-streamed structure.

"Recreational cannabis and -based drugs (including medical cannabis) are not equivalent," say Elizabeth Cairns and Dr. Melanie Kelly, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. "Without a program that supports medical use, patients may lose access to treatments that the Federal Court of Canada has deemed appropriate, which fosters safe and appropriate use."

More research into the effects of and cannabinoids is needed, but evidence does exist for use with some health conditions.

The authors suggest that a medical stream for cannabis and cannabinoids would reduce risk to patients, provide incentives for research into the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, and provide educational resources for health care practitioners on the latest advances in cannabinoid research.

"Having a separate medical stream does not mean an endorsement of cannabinoid-based therapeutics as a "cure-all." It is about providing the infrastructure to make informed choices for the patient and health care practitioner, and prioritizing a path to more concrete answers."

Explore further: Questions remain about the benefits and harms of cannabis

More information: Canadian Medical Association Journal (2017). www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.170427

Related Stories

Questions remain about the benefits and harms of cannabis

April 3, 2017
Despite dramatic changes in the legal landscape and usage rates of cannabis, evidence is still lacking regarding its potential health and therapeutic effects. Recently, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and ...

Do cannabis users think package warnings are needed?

December 6, 2016
Legalization of cannabis for medical or leisure use is increasing in the U.S., and many experts and cannabis users alike agree that package warnings stating the health risks are needed. The warnings suggested by cannabis ...

Public health guidelines aim to lower health risks of cannabis use

June 23, 2017
Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released today with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks. ...

Canada to allow medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis

August 11, 2016
The Canadian government says medical marijuana patients will be able to grow their own cannabis under new regulations that come into effect later this month.

Cutting-edge findings in cannabis research

May 23, 2016
New evidence for the clinical efficacy of cannabis therapy is presented in the latest issue of the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology (JBCPP), a De Gruyter publication. The authors have studied cannabis ...

Cannabinoids may soothe certain skin diseases, say researchers

April 18, 2017
Cannabinoids contain anti-inflammatory properties that could make them useful in the treatment of a wide-range of skin diseases, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Recommended for you

Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?

July 27, 2017
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.