As cannabis legalization is celebrated across Canada, healthcare practitioners will have to be more informed than ever regarding the implications of cannabis use. With some consumers looking to try recreational cannabis for its therapeutic benefits, clinicians must be ready to base their discussions on the latest scientific evidence. Knowledge translation, facilitated by clinical trials conducted by cannabis research licence holders, can facilitate the gap between consumer demand and the ability of all healthcare practitioners to safely meet their needs.
MDs and NDs: A Relationship with Potential
While medical doctors (MDs) are able to prescribe medical marijuana, vague guidelines and a relatively small body of research can cause hesitation out of fear of potentially harming a patient. As a result, it’s not out of the question that some family doctors would actually prefer that their patients turn to a naturopathic doctor (ND) for their cannabis-related questions.
Cannabis legalization prompts a crucial need for NDs, specialists in herbal medicine, to be as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to both efficacy and interactions with other medications and supplements, especially with patients now able to legally access cannabis on their own.
The Research Behind the Healthcare Decisions
Because knowledge translation requires research-based evidence in order to translate that knowledge into usable material, the conduct of clinical trials will be vital to informing both MDs and NDs.
The Canadian Institute for Health Research has produced an Executive Summary of a workshop focused on meeting the needs of various stakeholders, including healthcare practitioners, who require research-based evidence on cannabis use to inform decisions and policies in their practices. You can see all of the funded projects that will be producing the latest research in cannabis use and population health here.
Fill the Knowledge Gap: Get your Cannabis Research Licence
In order to ensure healthcare practitioners are ready to meet the needs of patients now legally accessing cannabis on their own, we need to ensure well-designed clinical trials are being conducted, while immediately sharing that knowledge with MDs and NDs alike through mediums such as educational portals and webinars.
Whether you are looking to conduct cannabis research, compile a knowledge translation resource or are a healthcare practitioner looking to better serve your patients, we at dicentra have a specialized team able to help you secure your cannabis research licence and consult on a variety of topics with our in-house MD and ND medical and patient liaisons.
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dicentra Cannabis Consulting is committed to keeping you well informed and educated on the Cannabis Act and the Canadian cannabis regulatory framework which came into force on October 17, 2018. We are committed to providing you with updates, trends, and information in this new regulatory landscape.