The receding but still powerful stigma surrounding cannabis often gets in the way of a healthy doctor-patient relationship. It can be so difficult to speak honestly and openly about medical cannabis use, in fact, that the stigma may actually harm a patient’s health.
Those were some of the many findings in a review published earlier this week in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. Jennie Ryan and Nancy Sharts-Hopko, researchers at Villanova University, reviewed five studies of medical cannabis patients published between 2003 and 2015, and discovered these common themes regarding MMJ patients and the harmful effects of “reefer madness” stigma:
- Many medical marijuana patients remain fearful of “being labeled a pothead or stoner.”
- Concern over that stigma may be so great that some patients will suffer unnecessary pain rather than talk to their doctor about using medical cannabis.
- Some patients who use medical cannabis may conceal their