13 Nov What Is The Matter With Doctors About The Use Of Cannabis As Medicine?

In the UK, most doctors, and the medical profession as a whole, are ignorant and bigoted about cannabis.

Their ignorance is not entirely their own fault. For 50-odd years, since cannabis tincture was last available from UK pharmacies, they have been subject to the same relentless tide of propaganda from the Home Office, successive governments, the tabloid press and rabble-rousing politicians as the rest of society. Many still regard cannabis as a dangerous drug consumed by degenerates that almost inevitably leads to mental illness. The idea that it could be a safe and effective medicine which offers real benefits in a wide range of conditions is regarded as laughable.

However, there is no excuse for such laziness amongst a profession that regards itself as scientific. And this is the charge – indolence, carelessness and laziness – that needs to be laid at those doctors at NHS England, the Royal College of Physicians and the British Paediatric Neurologists Association, that are responsible for the disgraceful ‘guidelines’ published two weeks ago.

Throughout Europe, Israel, Canada and the USA there are thousands of doctors who have made the effort to learn about cannabinoid medicine. They have had to make extraordinary effort to do because even the most basic science is still rarely taught. The endocannabinoid system is on the syllabus of very few medical schools, anywhere in the world, despite the fact we now know that it is the largest neurotransmitter network in the body and affects almost every aspect of our health and all medical conditions. This is a dreadful indictment of the medical establishment but particularly of doctors in the UK, very few of whom have made any effort at all.

So while, to a degree, the ignorance can be forgiven, the bigotry cannot. It is cowardice. These doctors prefer to cover their own backs, protect themselves and prefer an absurd level of caution to doing what is in their patients’ best interests. The incredibly low risk attached to cannabis in any form, at any age and particularly when under medical supervision, is simply overlooked.

Yes, the medical profession is known to be ‘conservative’ but in the case of cannabis this is an excuse. Yes, we live in an increasingly litigious society but any truly professional doctor would not be cowed by such fear when the evidence is widely available, if they could be bothered to look. And what is this ‘conservatism’ of? Modern medicine is barely a century old. It is new in the history of our species and while the reductionist approach has brought great benefit and made huge advances, it is at the expense of thousands of years of human experience which has been dismissed as valueless.

These doctors may feel that the reforms have been foisted on them with no consultation and little notice but this is not a political game, it affects the lives of millions, from the youngest baby to the oldest, most senior citizens. These doctors are failing in their professional duty. For too long they have enjoyed being regarded with ultimate respect, rarely being questioned or challenged by their patients but those days are gone. Most of the population is now far better informed than ever before, largely because of the internet and although this may cause doctors some problems, they have to learn to live with it. They have to respect their patients, parents and carers and recognise more than ever before that healthcare is about co-operation, about working together. They have to come down from their ivory towers and start delivering truly patient-centred medicine.

  • Britannia

    Had appointment at the pain clinic today and asked if I could be prescribed medical marijuana. I was told it couldn’t be prescribed as there was no evidence that it help chronic pain. I felt myself getting angry and said I could provide research papers or become a test patient. It was admitted that many patients get marijuana off the street. Instead I ended up with another opiod and antidepressant and an appointment to a pain management session.

    • That Guy

      Sheer arrogance from our medical “professionals”. If they had bothered to make a cursory glance at, for example, what Bedrocan is prescribed for they would see pain right there at the very top. So yes there is proof, it’s jut that proof isn’t “good enough” for them.

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  • Wendy Goodwin

    It is all said in this article but again only seen by believers in cannabis who have bothered to research the facts.
    I tried contacted Sajid Javid but the only response was ” cannot respond as you do not live in my constituency”!
    Wrote to my MP , graham Stuart who said that he had written to the Home Secretary and ask him to respond to points raised in my letter but “However, the topIcs raised in your letter have certainly fostered my interest.” if I have raised awareness in one

  • Wendy Goodwin

    Great u-tube from prof Mike Barnes yesterday reiterating what was said here. I contacted my CCG and asked three simple questions:-
    1. What do you as non clinical lead know about the Endocannabinoid System?
    2. What do your Panel of GPs know?
    3. What are you doing about their training?

    From their response the answer I presume is very little. Regarding their training using “taomc.org” their 2 very long worded groups of advisors did not recommend it as they expected the GPs to do their own CDP for their annual review.

    Their response just gave out the legal blurb but was incorrect in that ” it is only likely to be prescribed by those with rare and severe forms of epilepsy, or adults suffering with vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy” that is not the law., “unmet need”.
    Let’s us see what happens when Epidiolex gets its license from European Drugs Agency will we see then at least one script funded by NHS?
    Yes there have been several private prescriptions but not enough Medicinal cannabis available in U.K. they have had to import about 5kg from Holland at a cost of just under £700/ounce. We are the biggest exporters of Medicinal Cannabis in the world how can this be? GWP’s Epidiolex with 99.9% CBD is still not quite right, needs extra THC to work with some children.

    All this group is doing is keeping the costs down without a real thought to what will help their public.