We all know them: people who are curious about medical cannabis, but haven’t taken action yet. People who are open-minded – yet also skeptical. People who tried a CBD product from a regular retail outlet, didn’t get the results they were looking for, and decided it is just a bunch of hype. Or those who’ve tried a topical product, but didn’t venture any further into other ways to use medicinal cannabis.
Heck, maybe you’re even one of these people!
So to all the fence sitters, we want you to know: we get it. And …
… It Isn’t Your Fault!
There’s a lot of misinformation, stigma, and misunderstanding surrounding the medicinal use of marijuana. Here’s a short list of reasons why:
- while marijuana is federally recognized as a Schedule 1 drug, it is NOT federally recognized as “medicine”
- marijuana has not been approved for medical use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (except for Epidiolex™, a medical cannabis derivative used to treat certain types of childhood seizures, which was approved by the FDA in 2018), even though, as of January 2020, 33 states have approved marijuana it for medicinal use
- there are few evidence-based trials and no clinical trials (which is part of a lengthy process required for any drug to meet FDA approval standards) for marijuana as medicine – so research is lagging far behind demand!
- because of the above, sellers are strictly prohibited from making any health claims about medical marijuana whatsoever (so even if it can help you, no one is supposed to tell you that!)
- because information available to the medical field is inconsistent, many doctors hesitate to refer their patients to the State to get their medical marijuana cards
- timing – here in West Michigan, many people are waiting for Adult Use ordinances to come into effect locally, so they can try medical marijuana without having to get a State card
May we just say? This isn’t the first time a plant-based medicine took its time becoming a mainstream option.
Yes, ASPIRIN! Aspirin’s beneficial chemical is derived from the bark of willow trees, and its medicinal use dates back to 400 BC!
(Here’s a great piece explaining the history of willow bark’s evolution into what we now call aspirin for those of you interested in learning more.)
One doctor we spoke with recently in Kalamazoo told us, “If aspirin were to be invented today, the clinical trials would be so long and exhaustive it would only be available by prescription after dozens of years, and would cost so much few people would actually be able to afford it.”
And yet today, we buy aspirin over the counter in varying strengths to treat and manage a variety of health conditions – and it remains one of the most cost-effective medicines available, with more beneficial uses being tested all the time (read that PDF above!). And it all started with a plant!
While both willow bark and cannabis are plant-based, their basic medicinal uses have taken tremendously different paths … mainly due to a specific cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana (it’s the one that can give you an intoxicated feeling, depending on how you consume marijuana).
So is marijuana medicine, or is it a party drug? The truth is, it’s no different than any other prescription medication. It’s either one – depending on how it’s taken and what the user chooses to feel.
Which can really be confusing for people in general, as well as for the medical community and approval agencies like the FDA!
Here’s a great video by Dr. Ruth Ross (yes, she is a real medical doctor!) that explains what medical marijuana is, what the natural endocannabinoid system is, and how the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants affects that system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GsmTFytBYI.
Remember: before we had mass-produced medicines available by prescription and over-the-counter, ALL medicines were based in nature.
So if you’d like to learn more about medicinal cannabis, grab a friend and join one of our free educational classes! The link to our upcoming classes and events is here: https://ccbydesign.com/events/ and all events are held in our clean, friendly, professional environment at 401 N. Sage Street, Kalamazoo.
Even better, call and schedule an appointment to come in and ask any questions you may have! Our Patient Advisors are highly educated experts about all things cannabis, and are happy to help you find the answers you’re looking for to help you live your best life!