“In a perfect world, we'd see cannabis available in pharmacies, just like any other drug or supplement. And if you don't need the pharmacist's help, great — somebody else will,” says cannabis pharmacist Dr. Melani Kane.
In some US states, pharmacists are required to be on site at cannabis dispensaries to help with dosing and to watch out for potential drug interactions. And cannabis, CBD in particular, can affect the ways other medications work in your body.
For patients, just having a medically knowledgeable resource available can ease some of their anxiety, Dr. Kane says. Explaining what to expect is a huge part of that.
“The side effects of THC can be very uncomfortable. They're not life threatening in any way, shape or form — it's definitely the safest drug I've ever dispensed,” Dr. Kane continues. “But if you have that feeling of anxiety or dysphoria, if you're expecting it to make you sleep and it doesn't and you're up all night, I think that can be very discouraging to patients.”
Dr. Kane also spoke about the pitfalls of adult use legalization displacing or replacing medical cannabis programs.
“The populations that [most] benefit from these medical programs are the very young and the elderly, because you're not going to have a 85 year old going into a dispensary trying to figure out what works for them,” she explains. “And kids can't use adult use programs without that medical permission.”
Dr. Kane is the co-founder and executive director of the International Society of Cannabis Pharmacists, which is holding its Clinical Cannabinoid Pharmacy Conference in mid-August 2020, helping to educate medical professionals, particularly pharmacists about cannabis medicine.
For 15% off tickets to the conference, use coupon code “Cannigma15.”
This episode was edited, produced, and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man with production assistance from Matan Weil. Music by Desca.