Healthcare professionals in Canada unprepared for cannabis therapy discussions with cancer patients

Therapist holding a pamphlet

Canadian radiation therapists feel unprepared to discuss medical cannabis

In a revealing study from Toronto, Canada, it has emerged that radiation therapists, despite working in a country where medical cannabis has been legal for over two decades, feel inadequately trained to discuss the therapeutic use of cannabis with their cancer patients.

This information was derived from survey data recently published in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences.

Key findings from the survey

The survey encompassed the views of 282 radiation therapists. A significant finding was that only 19 percent of these professionals stated that they often received questions from their patients about medical cannabis.

However, what stood out starkly was that almost all of the surveyed therapists believed that their training in radiation therapy did not equip them to support or guide patients who were using or considering the use of cannabis.

The need for enhanced training and education

The authors of the study drew a clear conclusion from these findings. They strongly advocated for the creation and implementation of educational tools tailored to meet the clinical needs of therapists.

The objective would be to ensure that these professionals are better prepared to address patient queries and provide guidance on the use of medical cannabis, especially given its legal status in the country.

Global trend: Healthcare professionals feel Ill-equipped

This sentiment of unpreparedness is not unique to Canadian radiation therapists. Healthcare professionals across the globe, including nurses, pharmacists, clinicians, and nurse practitioners, have consistently expressed that they feel inadequately trained to counsel patients on topics specific to medical cannabis. This gap in knowledge and training becomes even more pronounced when considering the therapeutic potential of cannabis in managing various health conditions.

Cancer patients and cannabis: A growing trend

Another survey published in September highlighted that nearly one-third of US cancer patients are turning to cannabis for symptom management. This trend underscores the importance of healthcare professionals being equipped with the right knowledge to guide their patients. Interestingly, a large number of these patients do not inform their healthcare providers about their cannabis use, possibly due to the stigma associated with it or fear of disapproval.

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Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

About the author:

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of CBD and hemp production. With a career spanning over a decade in the cannabis industry, he has dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of these plants and their potential benefits to human health and the environment. Over the years, Robin has worked tirelessly to promote the full legalization of hemp in Europe. His fascination with the plant's versatility and potential for sustainable production led him to pursue a career in the field.

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