In honour of Arthritis Awareness Month in September, the Arthritis Society launched an explanatory series specifically for those suffering from the joint disorder who were interested in access to cannabis for the pain. In it, they noted 65 per cent of Canadians who request access to medical cannabis do so for arthritis pain, and went through the various challenges patients can encounter when trying to access the drug, including a physician’s hesitation to prescribe it.
A 2012 study from the Canadian Medical Association found that 60 per cent of physicians who responded to a survey on the topic would “never” or “seldom” honour a request for access to medical cannabis. But with more research, it’s possible these opinions will change, and that’s just what people like Ware are trying to accomplish.
Ware points out that cannabinoids don’t have the same toxicity issues as other drugs used for pain management, like opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs, in that the drug itself in high doses doesn’t cause death or major health disorders. But that said, there are other factors to consider when prescribing it to patients.