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

July 17, 2017, Canadian Medical Association Journal
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

1 in 9 U.S. adults over 45 reports memory problems

July 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—If you're middle-aged and you think you're losing your memory, you're not alone, a new U.S. government report shows.

Antioxidant benefits of sleep

July 12, 2018
Understanding sleep has become increasingly important in modern society, where chronic loss of sleep has become rampant and pervasive. As evidence mounts for a correlation between lack of sleep and negative health effects, ...

Footwear habits influence child and adolescent motor skill development

July 11, 2018
New research finds that children and adolescents who spend most of their time barefoot develop motor skills differently from those who habitually wear shoes. Published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, this is the first study to ...

How a Mediterranean diet could reduce osteoporosis

July 11, 2018
Eating a Mediterranean-type diet could reduce bone loss in people with osteoporosis—according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Extreme heat and reduced cognitive performance in adults in non-air-conditioned buildings

July 10, 2018
Students who lived in dormitories without air conditioning (AC) during a heat wave performed worse on a series of cognitive tests compared with students who lived in air-conditioned dorms, according to new research led by ...

Suppressing negative emotions during health scare may whip up spiral of fear

July 10, 2018
Trying to suppress worries during a health scare, like the recent Zika outbreak, may lead to an ever-intensifying cycle of emotional suppression and fear, according to a team of researchers.

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.