By Ken Finn, MD, Springs Rehabilitation, PC, Colorado Springs
Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been supporting the use of marijuana to curb the opioid crisis. Dr. Gupta does not have specialty training in Pain Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Management, or Anesthesia. I have been practicing Pain Medicine in Colorado for 24 years and I have seen patients referred to me on very high dose opioids, reporting very high levels of pain, and using marijuana for pain control, making no clinical sense. In discussions with these patients, and overall, a significant percent report that their use of marijuana does not help with their presenting pain symptoms. I have had a rare patient who opt to taper their opioids and use marijuana, and all of those continue to report high levels of pain. Continue reading Marijuana isn’t Helping and not a Solution for Pain Pill Epidemic→
Celebrity doctors who channel their education into the pursuit of fame should be especially careful of misleading people with harmful advice. One wonders why Dr. Sanjay Gupta and more recently, Dr. Oz, are singing the praises of medical marijuana. Most likely the marijuana industry has been working hard to get their support.
On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Judge Kimberly J Mueller of the US Court in Sacramento upheld the constitutionality of marijuana’s Schedule I designation in the 5-tier classification set down by Congress in 1970. Schedule I drugs must have a high potential for abuse.
On April 16, 2015, Governor Butch Otter of Idaho issued an executive order allowing for expanded access to Epidiolex, a pure, pharmacy version of cannabidiol (CBD). He vetoed a bill that would have allowed non-pharmacy grade CBD for the treatment of seizures.
CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta left the wrong impression on many Americans when discussing marijuana, which is why the media needs to stop saying medical marijuana when they mean cannabidiol or CBD. Marijuana is very different from cannabidiol, the marijuana derivative which Dr. Gupta advocates for treating some types of epilepsy in children.
The marijuana plant has more than 400 compounds, and at least 60 different cannabinoids which bind to receptors in our body. Cannabidiol is one of those 60 cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is a different cannabinoid, the main psychoactive component and the one responsible for the “high” of marijuana.