Medical Cannabis, What Can Go Wrong?
I have been consulting with patients about the safest and most effective use of medical cannabis for a few years now.
Ethically, it has been a bit of a dilemma because there are no ‘medical’ standards to rely on. Also, so far, no medical governing body has given the green light for clinicians to, not only prescribe Cannabis but actually train them how to do so.
Spoiler alert. I will have that course available ASAP.
To be clear, I am not actively recommending or Prescribing Cannabis. I just help people get the most benefit from Cannabis, given their medical diagnosis, present medications, and lifestyle.
Having personally sat and talked with several hundred people about their individual health and the use of Cannabis for their condition, I only have one concern. AND IT IS HUGE!
And no, the problem is not Reefer Madness.
And NO, smoking weed is not a long-term safe or purely medical application of Cannabis.
Please give me a couple of minutes to unpack this in the best way I can.
I think it is fair to say that we are conditioned or ‘trained’ by our society and culture. If you grew up in North Korea you will see the world, and your self in it, in a pretty intense way. As Canadians (or those patient, polite and apologetic North Americans), we have been conditioned to relate to our lives and to our health in a uniquely Canadian way. And, when it comes to health care, Canadians have had it pretty good with Medicare. Well, mostly…
As an Integrative medicine clinician and researcher, I have some strong opinions about how mainstream orthodox medicine has ‘taught’ most of the modern world to think about health. In the West, we tend to focus on what to do with our lives instead of how it feels to live our lives. I am not blaming anyone for this. I think we got to where we are by being so busy and distracted that the ‘7 minutes and one complaint’ version of a doctor’s appointment was inevitable.
Over the last 45 years especially, health care has become a conveyor belt towards dangerous pharmaceuticals and/or surgery. I often describe modern medicine as ‘get back to work now medicine’, or Pharma-Surgical Medicine. I am not being childish, I just want to remind people that Real healing takes time. Of course, when these options are necessary – they are NECESSARY. Sometimes I must tell my patients, “sorry, you are going to need to take drug X or Y”, or, “I think you will need surgery for that.”
So, here we are in 2018 and Cannabis will be available to adults as a recreational psychoactive choice in July. There is a HUGE vacuum of any real conversation on an actual system of dispensing this amazingly effective medicine to patients with complex and chronic illness.
Weird…, but not.
This is where I see a proverbial elephant in the room. It is 2018 and we have had over 40 years of being too busy to take care of ourselves. That is a long time to rely primarily on a massively underfunded and dangerous version of health care. Western medicine is the #3 killer on the planet, BTW.
This version of Health Care keeps reminding everyone that healing mostly comes from external sources. Snake oil salesman do the same thing, and wow, there is a lot of magic bullets for sale these days.
So, here is my big concern.
Magic pill thinking naturally turns to magic pot thinking – As long as I can get my Cannabis everything will be better – which is usually a lot truer, and safer than most pharmaceuticals. Modern medicine focuses on managing symptoms, or the ‘what’. Integrative medicine focuses on the root cause, or the ‘why’. So, what can help us turn this around?
Glad you asked!
Actual and consistent self-care on several levels is the only way to prevent illness or recover from one.
The one and only ‘danger’ I see with a few patients, is using medical Cannabis the same way we use pharmaceuticals.
It is all about the relationship we have with our medicine.
Choice #1 – My health is compromised, and things are getting worse. As long as I can get high enough to not feel or remember my symptoms (or life), I am good.
Choice #2 – My health is compromised, and things are getting worse. I had better start re-evaluating my lifestyle, diet, fitness, supplements, stress recovery, addictive behaviors and make sure I am using Cannabis to help treat the root cause of my illness.
Yes, that is an oversimplification of a complex series of issues.
The problem seems to be that most of us don’t have time or energy to learn what we need to effectively prevent or reverse a chronic condition. What to do, what to do?
As an educator, my advice is to learn a stress recovery practice, an appropriate dietary protocol, the most clinically proven supplements for your illness and the most effective approach to using Medical Cannabis – well, medically. Also, as an educator, I spend a good part of my life researching, developing and teaching courses that help patients, clinicians, and caregivers learn what actually works.
If you are interested in learning more about my work, take a few minutes and check out my Patreon page (below)
Let’s take this healing thing to the next level, together.