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Doctors woefully unprepared for medical cannabis

green cross, medical, leaf

Most trainee interns have little or no knowledge and training on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, according to survey data published in the journal. BMJ City Hall Cure. Pharmacists, on the other hand, seem to be learning more about the subject.

A team of researchers with the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai in New York studied a group of internal medicine residents regarding their knowledge of medical marijuana use.

93 percent of respondents said they lacked adequate knowledge about the general effects of cannabis, and 97% said they lacked sufficient knowledge as to what indication it could address. Eighty-eight percent of participants said they were not “sure where to find the relevant information,” and 92 percent agreed that cannabis education should be included in their training.

“It’s worth implementing a curriculum”

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to observe a critical lack of knowledge in MM [medical marijuana] in IM training [internal medicine] residents. “Therefore, it is worth implementing a curriculum for resident physicians that includes indications, medication interactions, and side effects of MM use.”

The results are consistent with those of surveys of other medical professionals including nurses, pharmacists, clinicians, and other health practitioners – all of whom claim to have insufficient training in medical cannabis-specific subjects. Separate survey data published in 2020 reported that less than one in five patients believe their primary care providers have enough knowledge about cannabis-specific health problems.


Full text of the study, “Medical knowledge of marijuana and attitudes among internal medicine residents,” appears in BMJ Primary Care. Additional information is available in the NORML factsheet. ‘Attitudes of health clinics towards cannabis. ‘

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