There has been more chatter of late in the “Save Cannabis” google thread, about making the argument that all cannabis use is medicinal. Here is my response.
I understand the position that all cannabis use is medical, but I don’t think it serves our cause very well. People argued in the past that all cannabis is medical long before there were active discussions about it’s neuro-protective effect.
The argument PRIOR to neuro-protection was it makes us feel good and happy and that is medical; well that is fine, but then where do we draw the line with alcohol/coffee/etc?
Red wine drinkers will tell you it is medicinal and represents protection for their heart. This in fact may or may not be true, but I have never been at a dinner party where a friend ordered a bottle of “coronary cabernet”. They order the wine because they want it. Period. Don’t forget that after the red wine, there is usual a ton of fatty beef. Medicine?? Heart Protection?? Enjoying wine….YES.
I find it impossible to “prescribe” alcohol for any specific condition I can think of and I know I advise patients on Cannabinoid therapy all the time, so they are for certain very different and I just say this to introduce the following points.
1. A person must decide for themselves if the use of a medicine, ANY MEDICINE, is recreational or medicinal
2. I believe that all cannabis CAN be medicinal, but using huge doses of THC in most cases is often more recreational. In fact, for pain and cancer, increasing the THC or CBD intake beyond certain (difficult to quantify) levels and analgesic and anti-tumor effects decrease; it is clearly NOT a situation of more is better. As time goes by, I am often finding very tiny doses of THC, i.e. under 5 mg/24 hours, to be way more helpful for pain in a number of patients than huge doses.
I believe we feel better about our recreational cannabis use if we say it is “medicinal”. I just don’t think we need to be embarrassed that we want to get stoned. We should also be able to medicate with a rich CBD extract and use it solely for pain as it has no psycho-activity. How about all the patients I know who both smoke and take dosed CBD products? They will tell you clearly the difference between medicinal and recreational. If five of us are hanging and passing blunts, truly none of my friends would say we are “medicating”. It is a joke.
Of course there are a million situations in between “medical” and “recreational”, but let’s just not even try to differentiate them. Let the patient be presented with as many options as possible and learn to make their own decisions. They are the only ones, and perhaps their family, that can “label it”.
Our responsibility in the Cannabis Movement is to present options for patients giving them as much information about each option as possible. The patients will decide whether it is recreational or medicinal for them.
With regard to the woman with PMS using her cannabis during the rest of the month for something else?
Honestly, who cares????
Allan I Frankel, MD