Family Doctors in Ontario are Reluctant to Prescribe Cannabis for Pain

May 12
Have you found it difficult to talk to your family doctor about cannabis? This could be the reason why.

Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada for 20 years and the number of Canadians using medical cannabis has jumped from just under 24,000 in June 2015 to 377,000 in September 2020.
Despite this surge in medical cannabis users, many Ontario doctors are still reluctant to prescribe cannabis for chronic pain. A McMaster University study shows some of the main concerns doctors have when it comes to cannabis are possible ill-effects. The study, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal Open, notes that another area of concern for family doctors was their own lack of understanding regarding the effectiveness of cannabis as a painkiller.

“This paper is demonstrating that there is a real perceived need by family physicians that more evidence, education and guidance is needed, so they can better help patients who are asking about this treatment,” said Jason Busse, associate director of the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research at McMaster.

The report credited the increase in cannabis users between 2015 and 2020 to two main reasons:

  1. The increase in availability - both of Licensed Producers and cannabis clinics
  2. The reduced stigma around the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes

If you're looking to have a conversation about medical cannabis with a healthcare practitioner, talk to your doctor or head to a clinic, like North Star Wellness.

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Interested in learning more about pain management and cannabis? Check out our Pain Management Learning Series.

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