According to a new study, the majority of health care professionals are willing to use medical marijuana for the treatment of children suffering from cancer. However, not every one of them has the legal right to prescribe weed for the disease. Those who do seem hesitant to promote it openly.
The study reveals that 92 percent of providers are ready to use medical marijuana for children with cancer. However, the ones who are eligible to prescribe marijuana hesitate to do so because of legal constraints.
Doctors get regular requests from their patients so that medical marijuana is prescribed for other reasons like anxiety, nausea, depression, and loss of appetite. Many of them ask for it as a painkiller as well.
While the request is common, just 8 percent of medical providers admitted to recommending weed to their patients.
Kelly Michelson believes doctors are worried that their license might be risked if they prescribe medical marijuana for cancer patients, no matter how effective it may be. The co-author of the research thinks the federal restrictions are not allowing doctors to open up about the use of weed in cancer treatment.
At the same time, many doctors are restricted by the regulations of the institute they work for. While medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, pediatric providers at Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago are not allowed to prescribe it due to institutional policies, according to Eureka Alert.
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Medical practitioners are more willing to use marijuana among children if their condition deteriorates considerably or the disease reaches such an advanced stage that they are unlikely to survive. However, they don’t prefer children smoking weed. They rather prefer clinical trials so that its effect on children can be determined.
According to Prasanna Ananth, providers are hesitant to use medical marijuana among children with cancer also because of its side effects. The pediatric oncologist believes there is not enough high-quality scientific information available. In addition, the dosage guidelines of medical marijuana are also unclear. The FDA does not have significant regulatory oversight about it either, Forbes reported.
Interestingly, the legal market for marijuana is expected to grow three times its size by the year 2021. This means the market is going to earn more revenue than the NFL.