Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, but it’s only been hitting its stride in the last couple of years. With thousands of medical cannabis patients across the country now, more people are looking for information about cannabis and its role in human health.
The good news is more research than ever before is being conducted. As 2018 rolls onward, here are some of the stories you should be paying attention to.
1. Medical Cannabis Use among the Elderly Is on the Rise
As Canada’s senior population increases, so too has the number of chronic illnesses being treated. As people age, they tend to develop health conditions that require some form of treatment. Some elderly people develop diseases such as cancer or multiple sclerosis, which may be treated but not cured.
Many elderly patients are now turning to medical marijuana to help manage and treat chronic conditions. What’s more is research seems to back up their choice.
A recent study of 900 Israeli seniors suggested medical cannabis was both safe and effective as a pain treatment for the elderly.
Other studies have suggested elderly patients using opioid treatments may benefit from medical marijuana as well. Cannabis may allow them to reduce their dependence on opioid medications.
2. Hemp Has Shown Potential in the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
Hemp is used for many things, such as making cloth, but it isn’t always considered a form of medical cannabis. New research could change that.
A recent study demonstrated the potential for hemp in the treatment of ovarian cancer. While more research is needed to follow up on and confirm these findings, the study indicated hemp could slow the migration of cancer-causing cells.
3. CBD Could Be a Potential Antidepressant
Thus far, the literature on the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of various mental health conditions is mixed. A large study from Brazil has added to the research suggesting potential positive effects.
The study examined the effects of CBD in rats, and the results demonstrated the compound had both antidepressant effects and that those effects lasted quite some time. More research is needed to determine whether the same effects could be realized in humans.
4. Legalization Is Creating a Tax Hike on Medical Cannabis
This story doesn’t contain a scientific breakthrough, but it is on the minds of many medical marijuana patients. Through the Cannabis Act, recreational cannabis will be legalized across Canada later this year.
With it comes a tax hike. Medical cannabis patients are already bracing for higher prices as the government begins levying taxes on cannabis products. Recreational and medical products will be taxed the same.
This is cause for concern for many patients, as they may be receiving disability benefits or otherwise have a fixed income. A potential price increase caused by higher taxes may mean some patients can no longer afford their prescriptions. This tax hike is unfair and discriminator�”no other pharmaceutical drug has a tax to begin with.
Many patients and experts are already calling for better support, including a tax break or provincial health coverage for their prescriptions.
5. More Evidence for the Use of Cannabis in the Treatment of MS Emerges
Another study, published earlier this year, explored the use of prescription cannabinoids in the treatment of resistant multiple sclerosis. The study concluded the effects were generally positive when a nasal spray was combined with other treatments.
More research is needed to confirm the findings of the study, but it may offer some hope for patients with severe MS.
It’s clear there’s much going on in the world of medical marijuana research right now. Keep an eye on the news as more research emerges and science determines just what role cannabis will play in the maintenance of human health.