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A Doctor’s Case For Medical Marijuana (Tired Hearing Hype & Half-Truths)

Traditionally, doctors have not been taught about the benefits of medical marijuana. It has been excluded from most curriculums, likely because of its status as an illegal substance. So, when patients have requested it be considered for their diseases or ailments, doctors – having limited or no information – couldn’t possibly offer it as a treatment option.

Dr. David Casarett talks about his own research into the subject in his recent TED Talk. In this dialogue, he made a point of highlighting the fact that all of his early learnings about medical marijuana came from patient feedback and information found in rogue studies. However, what he found changed the way that he saw medical marijuana. And like some of his peers – he has now become a proponent of it as a treatment option for patients!

So, why are doctors backing this as a treatment option? And, why is it becoming so popular in the medical community?

Well, it is a treatment that has no major side effects. And it often allows for a more empathetic approach to a given patient’s healthcare, while allowing them to have control over their own treatment. There are some risks associated, which we will discuss below, but overall, the case for medical marijuana among the medical professional community is getting stronger every day.

An Empathetic Approach To Treatment

Clinics that specialize in providing medical documents for marijuana use tend to take a thorough and empathetic approach to their patient’s care. With a healthcare system that is known for being inundated with patient needs, this approach is a sigh of relief to those suffering from chronic illness. This is especially true for patients that have tried all of the traditional avenues with little to no results to show for it.

And, prior to having access to so much information online, many patients who were using medical marijuana as a treatment option, simply learned about it from one another. This even created something of a community which offered guidance, advice, and support. This has now caused a shift in the way people view the medical system. They are opting out of mainstream medical advice and learning from other members of their community, how they can best treat the things that they are suffering from.

Allowing Patients Control Over Their Own Health

One of the most powerful patients’ feedback findings was that patients liked the fact that they had control over their own treatment. And, they could do it without any permission – a huge deal for anyone suffering from chronic illness.

A loss of control is something that is a reality for those suffering from chronic illness – it is simply part of the process, though. So, having control over their treatment gives them power over something that has inevitably been bestowed upon them.

Risks Of Using Medical Marijuana

There has been some research done on the risks of recreational marijuana, and although there are no fatal side effects that have been reported, the following are ones that have been discovered:

  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Diminished motor skills and loss of coordination
  • Anxiety and mild hallucinations
  • Decreased reaction time

In terms of medical marijuana, the research is far more limited, so we can assume some of these side effects may possibly come with the use of it. But, because of the recent legalization and subsequently highly regulated nature of medical marijuana, we can’t definitively tell you that the side effects will be an exact mirror to those found in its recreational counterpart. People also call medical marijuana,  Rick Simpson Oil or RSO for short.


Providing an empathetic approach to healthcare – and even more specifically, chronic illness – is something that is gaining traction in the medical community. Any doctor who has dealt with patients suffering from chronic illnesses knows that the overall feeling patients have is a loss of control over the severity of their situation. Helping them take that control back in their own hands by providing them with a treatment option which can be dosed and regulated by them gives patience a strong sense of progress and allows them to persevere. And, for patients with chronic illnesses, that is priceless!

Watch David Casarett’s Ted Talk:

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