While Marijuana has proven to be effective for some patients it is not necessarily the best treatment for all patients. Medical Marijuana has its benefits and risks not unlike any other treatment you may have undertaken. Many patients may have tried multiple therapies (narcotics, sedatives, natural alternatives, etc.) with no success and have now turned to Marijuana for relief.
Due to an increase in public demand, Health Canada changed the regulations for patients to acquire medicinal Marijuana effective April 1st, 2014. The new regulations provide an opportunity for qualified physician(s) to consider medical marijuana as a treatment option for their patient(s). The regulations require several steps in order to acquire medicinal marijuana.
Since medical marijuana is not a certified drug and does not have a drug identification number (DIN) a traditional prescription from a physician is not required. Health Canada has created a process in which a patient receives an assessment and determination for medical marijuana. Many anecdotal reports concerning the therapeutic value of medical marijuana support the safety and efficacy of smoked medical marijuana for therapeutic purposes. Health Canada and health professionals alike advocate for medicinal marijuana to be vaporized as part of your treatment as a means of harm reduction to prevent inhalation of toxic smoke.
Some reports suggest that patients may have relief from their symptoms associated with: Glaucoma, epilepsy, chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, spinal cord injury or disease, multiple sclerosis, and chronic arthritis. This list is not exhaustive, appropriate medical assessment by your physician is required to determine if medicinal marijuana should be included in your treatment plan.
More information from Health Canada – http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/info/faq-eng.php#a1
While medical marijuana has proven to be a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals, patient education is key to optimizing benefits and reducing any side effects.