“We don’t think [cannabis] causes [psychosis] by itself — most of the time there’s some underlying risk factor that cannabis can unmask or reveal. We don’t know exactly what those are, but we can’t screen for it, so we can’t advise who should use it. Conservatively, people set the age at 25, because at that point we think the brain has finished its development. It depends on the age of onset, and how much is being used.”
One big condition cannabinoids don’t seem to touch is acute pain, like a twisted ankle or a toothache. If anything, Ware warns, it can make the pain worse because you become more aware of it.
And just because the conditions noted above have been helped by prescription cannabinoids, that doesn’t mean any old weed will do. Ware points out the meds prescribed by professionals can have very different effects than street drugs.
“I think it’s worth thinking about cannabis not as the end game in all of this, but maybe for some people a part of their pain management, especially if coupled with other things like exercise, positive thinking, stretching and the like,” says Ware.
“I don’t think of cannabis as a miracle cure — I think it’s a piece of the puzzle that in the right hands can be used to help patients.”