I have been wanting to write an article about cannabis for a while now but didn’t know exactly how I wanted to present my opinion on the topic. I am a physiotherapist in Vancouver, Canada, a place that has long embraced the use of cannabis, but up until recently it carried the stigma of technically being illegal. I say technically because we have had weed shops on every other corner for years in this city that law enforcement had chosen to let function in a grey area due to public opinion. On October 17, 2018 the federal government of Canada officially made marijuana legal and countless companies have been jockeying for position at all levels of the industry.
As a physiotherapist, that works with many people with resistant and chronic pain problems, I have definitely noticed an increase in people’s openness to talking about their use of cannabis or their new interest in trying it as an option for their pain. Healthcare professionals have always had to walk a fine line in their discussions about marijuana with patients both due to legal implications and the lack of strong research on the topic. My goal with this article is to help decrease the residual stigma of cannabis by talking about its effects on pain, stress and anxiety from my perspective and to introduce a leading physician in the cannabis space named Dr Caroline MacCallum .
Pain can simply overwhelm people. It can be sharp and acute or dull, aching and chronic. It is not a tangible, physical thing, but more of a perception, or an experience. It is hard to explain this concept to someone in pain and not have them think that you are calling them crazy and suggesting that it is ‘all in their head.’ We are programmed to think that pain is related to a physical structure in our body being damaged, and if we can somehow fix that structure all of our problems will just go away, but unfortunately that is not the case. Read More