Study Finds Majority of Cancer Doctors Don't Feel Prepared to Prescribe Cannabis to Patients

Cancer patients are pretty much the only people who are guaranteed access to medical marijuana in states where it's legal. But that doesn't mean their doctors are comfortable prescribing it.

A survey of over 200 oncologists in America tried to determine how competent doctors are at prescribing cannabis for cancer patients. According to the survey, over 80 percent of oncologists have discussions with patients about using marijuana. But, less than 30 percent of them believed they had sufficient knowledge and understanding of the drug. Despite that lack of knowledge, about half of oncologists still prescribed cannabis to their patients.

This echoes a larger argument going on in the medical field right now. 30 states have legalized medical marijuana, and the vast majority of Americans have access to medicinal cannabis. Yet, many doctors are not trained or educated on the drug and cannot offer quality advice to their patients about it.

Some states have begun mandating educational training for doctors who want to prescribe marijuana, but still very few show up. And even medical schools across the United States are hesitant to add cannabis to their curriculums. 

But on the bright side, it seems that many oncologists are at least aware that cannabis can help the pain and nausea their patients suffer and are willing to prescribe it, even if they aren't 100 percent comfortable in their knowledge about the drug.

(h/t NPR)

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