The Journey: What Traditional Medicine Could Learn from Cannabis
Medical cannabis therapy is still considered an alternative therapy by many healthcare professionals. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Medical cannabis differs from traditional therapies in many ways. For example, using medical cannabis is often referred to by those in the industry as a journey. Traditional medicine could learn a thing or two here.
The traditional approach to medicine is to diagnose, prescribe, and move on. Traditional practitioners operate on the assumption that there is a prescription or medical device for every problem. It is there to figure out that medication or device. Once found, that’s it. Unfortunately, it is not so easy from the patient’s perspective.
A World of Unfulfilled Expectations
Although I do not use medical cannabis myself, I understand the journey concept. I have come to that understanding through my own experiences dealing with a chronic condition for the better part of 14 years. And I can tell you that I have also come to understand that traditional medicine is often a world of unfulfilled expectations.
Traditional medicine says that if I undergo physical therapy everything will be fine. Well, it hasn’t worked out that way. Physical therapy has not helped. Neither have the prescription drugs I have tried. Fortunately, I finally found a GP who actually did some research into my condition and now understands where I’m at. She is wonderful to work with. She understands that all the traditional treatments for my condition have proved fruitless. Now her goal is to help me live the best life I can.
That is what medical cannabis is all about. That’s where medical professionals who recommend it are coming from. They recognize that the majority of their patients have tried traditional treatments for chronic pain, PTSD, cancer pain, seizure disorders, insomnia, etc. They come looking for medical cannabis because traditional therapies have let them down.
A World of Many Choices
Where traditional medicine is often a world of unmet expectations, medical cannabis is a world of many choices. All medical cannabis products start as either indica or sativa plants. Indica and sativa are two variants of the cannabis species. From these two variants come nearly all the medical cannabis products on the market.
And how many are there? Hundreds, if not thousands. But that’s just the start. There are also many ways to consume medical cannabis. Some states allow smoking. Where it is not allowed, states allow vaping, dry heating, tinctures, topical products, edibles (gummies, cookies, etc.) and pills or capsules.
Different delivery methods lead to different results. When you combine the many delivery options with hundreds of potential products, the combinations and their impacts on individual patients are almost unlimited. Throw in something known as the ‘entourage effect’ and you have even more possibilities.
Use, Track, Repeat
The journey concept of medical cannabis is easily illustrated in the recommendation to track one’s consumption. Beehive Farmacy, out of Brigham City, UT, is like so many other medical cannabis dispensaries in terms of recommending that patients track their cannabid usage. By tracking and sharing the information with a pharmacist, a patient can get help navigating their own journey with the medicine. It is a journey designed to help a patient figure out the best products to use, how to use them, dosage, and frequency.
Very few medical cannabis patients get it right immediately. It generally takes few months to figure out what works best. And over time, things might change along with a patient’s condition. That’s why medical cannabis use is considered a journey. If only traditional medicine took the same approach.