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Jan 10, 2019

There are four reasons why medical cannabis is not being used to its full potential, especially for chronic conditions like pain, anxiety and insomnia. The first two reasons are easily understood, high prices and limited access. Most patients can’t afford the hundreds of dollars per month costs that cannabis meds incur and many medical states make access difficult by limiting the conditions it can be used for. Fortunately, the horse is already out of the gate: broader legalization will increase access and ease limitations. Prices will drop with more dispensaries and larger-scale grow operations.
After 80 years of prohibition, the idea of using cannabis for medical purposes is still greeted with chuckles. The Cheech and Chong stoner stigma hasn’t been shaken completely. Even with medical cannabis programs in 30 states, most media representations involve close-ups of men (usually men) with a burning joint between their lips. We’re not seeing people of all ages in pain, using cannabis as a tincture or a salve. We rarely see it vaporized. This is the third reason: the B-roll problem. Media people have a hard time talking about medical cannabis without a joke or a snide aside. The still think of it as “take two tokes and call me in the morning.”
The fourth reason medical cannabis is not as popular as Tylenol is, in a word, complexity. The complexity of how medical cannabis works and the experimenting necessary to finding the right dose is the primary reason people hold off from trying this incredible botanical medicine. With no one to guide them they either take too little and get no relief and give up too soon, or they take too much and get blindingly high or stoned, which makes maintaining a functioning life difficult for many patients with chronic conditions.
These are some of the reasons Dr. Junella Chin and I have launched It is the most modern, evidence-based online learning platform we know of, with courses aimed at three populations: Healthcare providers (ranging from MDs to health coaches), dispensary personnel (a/k/a budtenders) and patients. Rather than me tell you about the virtues of “education before medication,” Matthew and I have reversed roles on this podcast. He does a great job grilling me. Please let me know how I do as the guest!