Find out why we’re still dedicated to medical cannabis and why it’s still so important after 5 years of legalization in Canada.
With cannabis now legalized in Canada for adult use, you may have wondered- why medical cannabis?
If you, your friends or family or one of your patients are taking cannabis for medical purposes, there are many reasons why a medical cannabis authorization (prescription) and access via the medical cannabis program is important.
Because patient safety is critical
Cannabis is not without risks, especially for individuals living with medical conditions and symptoms or other underlying risks.
Neither licensed sellers nor recreational retail stores employees can offer medical advice.
Only healthcare professionals can provide personalized support to ensure safe use, including product and dosing recommendations to avoid side effects, drug interactions and ongoing support and monitoring;
A medical cannabis assessment and treatment plan is a checkpoint to protect patients from potential harms and an important confirmation of patient-professional relationship.
Without help, many patients self-medicate with cannabis and can struggle to find the right treatment option, missing out on potential benefits, or they may experience unnecessary adverse effects that are avoidable with the right support and guidance.
Because within a clinical setting, cannabis can be a powerful medicine
Cannabis is an ancient plant medicine with modern potential. Cannabinoids and other plant molecules interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and can influence multiple functions including pain, mood, appetite and sleep regulation.
Medical cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for certain refractory symptoms such as chronic pain, spasticity, nausea and vomiting, poor sleep, anxiety, depression, migraines, seizures and many others.
Patients who find relief with medical cannabis treatments may be able to substitute many of their medications with healthcare professional support and guidance, including potential harmful treatments such as opioid medications, benzodiazepines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
However, like any medicine, medical cannabis doesn’t work for everyone. Products that don’t produce the desired outcome after an informed trial should be discontinued with support of the healthcare professional team.
Because products are developed for medical purposes
While some similar products can be found in the medical sellers and non-medical retail stores, there are many unique products that are found only in the medical cannabis access program.
Certain medical cannabis products are more consistently available, are more standardized and may have higher quality control than recreational retail stores products.
This is notable on product labels of cannabinoid concentration – which often have larger ranges in recreational products.
Because a medical cannabis authorization has benefits
Authorized medical cannabis patients have protections under federal laws that include tenant and workplace rights; medical cannabis is also eligible for income tax credits, and patients may have access to insurance coverage from public agencies and under certain private insurance providers.
Because healthcare professionals have a responsibility
As healthcare professionals, we must support and monitor our patients, partnering in their journey to optimal health. Their cannabis use is no exception, we’re in this together.
At Sora Care, we are dedicated to integrating medical cannabis with traditional healthcare. To meet this goal, we provide consultation reports and opportunities for medical cannabis education.
Upon patient consent, we’ll provide the same report to primary care teams, specialists or pharmacists, so that Sora Care patients can have a complete circle of care.
Because medical cannabis may feel complex
Patients are often left to struggle through the healthcare system on their own, facing huge burdens and challenges. At first glance, cannabis is similarly confusing.
But accessing cannabis for medical purposes doesn’t need to be the same experience.
We’re here to guide patients through their journey from start to finish.
Patients may need personalized product recommendations, support for safe and effective use, and access to ongoing follow-up throughout their medical cannabis journey.
It doesn’t need to be complex with our support.
Because there’s much more to learn about medical cannabis
Medical cannabis research and the development of clinical guidelines are ongoing initiatives, with several important projects, studies and patient registries currently underway across Canada.
By engaging with healthcare professionals via medical cannabis assessment or referral to a medical cannabis clinic, and having ongoing follow-up, patients and professionals are contributing to the development of clinical knowledge and experience.
Patients can also participate in clinical research studies to further scientific knowledge and contribute to the evidence base required to develop clinical practice guidelines.
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