Medical cannabis helps our patients live better and healthier lives. We want to reduce the stigma associated with using medical cannabis to treat illness by allowing our patients to share their stories.
Learn how you can help us #GetTheWordOut here.
The Stigma Associated with Medical Cannabis
According to Health Canada, over 200,000 Canadians are registered to purchase medical cannabis, 6,374 Canadians are registered to produce medical cannabis for their own medical purposes, and 506 Canadians are registered to receive cannabis that is produced by a designated person. It is predicted by Health Canada that over 500,000 people will have medical cannabis prescriptions to help treat a variety of medical conditions including, but not limited to, chronic pain, epilepsy, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancer, arthritis, and more, by 2024.
So why are we afraid to talk about it?
Medical Cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, yet many individuals are hesitant to use medical cannabis, hesitant to disclose that they are using medical cannabis with their physician, or feel as if they have to hide their medical cannabis use from family and friends. There is also a lack of research conducted on medical cannabis. The chief mission officer of The Arthritis Society, Joanne Simons, states “Medical cannabis has been available in Canada as a treatment for chronic disease symptoms for over a decade, since that time, there has been a surprising absence of evidenced-based information to help guide physicians and their patients in determining whether or not it should be considered as a treatment option”.
Changing the Conversation
At Trauma Healing Centers, we believe in a multi-disciplinary approach to healing that can include using medical cannabis as an alternative medicine. Each member of our team of medical specialists, including physicians, has received comprehensive training on cannabis and its fundamental properties. We advocate for knowledge and provide patients who are suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, arthritis, and more with focused education on medical cannabis. We understand that medical cannabis must be handled carefully to ensure desirable outcomes are achieved, and believe in a “low and go slow” approach. We schedule regular follow-up appointments with each patient to determine efficacy and quality-based outcomes.
Many individuals have a hard time differentiating between medical cannabis and recreational marijuana. Here are some differences:
- Medical cannabis typically contains more Cannabidiol (CBD) than recreational marijuana and helps to alleviate symptoms without necessarily producing psychoactive effects
- People who use marijuana recreationally typically smoke or ingest it to achieve a “high”, as opposed to medical cannabis patients, who aim to feel therapeutic effects without the sensation of being “high”
- The only legal way to get medical cannabis in Canada is through a Health Canada approved licensed producer
- Medical Cannabis is prescribed at an exact dose with a specific dosing schedule
Unfortunately, there is still a connotation that someone who uses medical cannabis is a “pot head” or a “stoner”. The stigma associated with medical cannabis can prevent individuals who are suffering from medical conditions including, but not limited to, chronic pain, epilepsy, PTSD, and more from seeking the help they need. Stigma can also cause patients who use medical cannabis additional stress and anxiety. We want to #GetTheWordOut, and change the conversation that surrounds medical cannabis.
We want to start an important conversation that illustrates that it is okay to use medical cannabis and it is okay to talk about it. Medical cannabis users are our friends and family members, and they should not feel ashamed or inclined to hide their treatment. In many instances, these individuals have tried a series of available treatments for their chronic conditions that have not alleviated their symptoms. Throughout the next few months, we will be regularly sharing educational information about medical cannabis and its benefits, while also encouraging patients to share the role medical cannabis has played in their journey toward a healthier life.
We aim to work toward decreasing the stigma associated with using medical cannabis.
How You Can Help Us #GetTheWordOut
Has medical cannabis positively impacted your health and your life? We want to hear from you!
We are inviting our patients to share their stories of how medical cannabis has positively impacted their life on our social media channels. Simply post on our Facebook wall, or Tweet us, with your story and the hashtag #GetTheWordOut. You will contribute to a growing conversation that could encourage individuals who are suffering from a variety of medical conditions to feel confident and comfortable when seeking the help they deserve.
The rules and regulations associated with our #GetTheWordOut campaign are coming soon.
We will primarily be using our social media channels to regularly post educational facts, stories, blog posts, and articles about medical cannabis. We encourage you to share this content! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.