Harvard Medical Students Say Schools Need to Teach More About Medical Marijuana

While medical marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states, many doctors and other health professionals are still not educated in how it can help treat their patients. And some students at Harvard are trying to change that.

Two students at Harvard Medical School recently published an op-ed arguing that medical schools around the country need to teach more information about medical marijuana. They noted that while 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, only 1 in 10 medical schools included cannabis in their curriculum. So the next generation of doctors are not receiving information that many of their patients need to make informed choices about cannabis. And even more worrisome, they noted one survey found 90 percent of doctors don't feel confident prescribing cannabis.

The students also noted that medical marijuana knowledge could also help doctors when it comes to treating chronic pain. As we've noted many times, states with legalized medical marijuana have lower rates of opioid abuse. So obviously, medical professionals should see the benefits cannabis can have in avoiding their patients become addicts. But since they're not being taught properly about how cannabis can be an opioid alternative, that means they can also be the ones prescribing those dangerous drugs. 

Imagine if another drug was legal but doctors were given absolutely no information about it. That doesn't make sense, right? So the same should be true of marijuana as well.

(h/t STAT News)

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Before Nikki Furrer was a cannabis writer and professional, she had another dream job: owning an independent bookstore. While she says her business venture as a bookseller was ultimately untenable, it did open her eyes to how much she enjoys “matching the reader to the exact book they’re craving.” This zest for matchmaking is evident in her book 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis.' As the title suggests, 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis' is for women who are curious about cannabis. A more appropriate title, however, might have been a 'A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis.' Though Furrer touches on applications for the plant that are specific to women—relief of menstrual pain or beauty (though her belief that cannabis is a beauty product because it makes you appear more well-rested seems relevant to both men and women—much of the information in the book is relevant to anyone who is totally inexperienced with cannabis, apprehensive about trying it and needs a run down of the basics.

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