While Medical Cannabis is not a magic bullet for any condition, there is evidence that it does help patients treat their unmet medical needs.
Cannabis, whether medical or recreational, can cause apprehension for employers and supervisors. There are many questions that arise whether employees consumption of cannabis affects them at the workplace or while they perform their duties. Employers should be aware that there are 2 streams of cannabis use that will be permitted in Canada in 2018. The recreational and medical streams will bring challenges to employers in terms of workplace policies and accommodation requirements under the human rights code for medical patients. Employers need to ensure that there are appropriate policies in place to deal with medical and recreational cannabis consumption at the workplace and how these two contexts are treated differently.
Understanding Why Employees May Use Medical Cannabis?
Based on current medical research being conducted worldwide, medical cannabis has been used to treat conditions such as: chronic pain, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, arthritis, muscle spasms, sleeping problems, nausea/vomiting due to cancer, epilepsy, post traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD), insomnia, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and pediatric epilepsy.
It should be noted that studies have shown that patients often decrease the amount of pain medications used as they these medications with prescribed cannabis. It also helps Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis patients regain their appetites.
Though there are encouraging studies that have been conducted and currently being completed, there is still a lack of strong evidence or no evidence to support its use in many conditions, such as headaches and migraines, weight gain in cancer and anorexia patients, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions mentioned earlier. More studies are needed to prove that medical cannabis is useful for these conditions. Also, medical cannabis does not have medical approval from Health Canada and the department has not endorsed the use of cannabis derived products. It is important to point out that there is encouraging, positive evidence to support use in individuals with conditions such as chronic pain, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, and other conditions.
A Balanced Approach to Medical Cannabis
While Medical Cannabis is not a magic bullet for any condition, there is evidence that it does help patients treat their unmet medical needs. The cannabis industry needs to commit more research to better understanding cannabis. We need to better understand the positive and negative effects of cannabis to ensure that we can adequately provide clinicians and patients balanced, objective information.