Doctors call for more education when it comes to prescribing cannabis

by Alastair Spriggs

In the fall of 2018, third-year medical student Yipeng Ge experienced a pot-related emergency-room consult at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus. 

A patient was unable to tolerate food and fluid after vomiting excessively for several days prior to the visit, Ge told the Georgia Straight by phone.

Her medical history included irritable-bowel syndrome (IBS), migraines, chronic pain…The list went on. Her remedy of choice was cannabis. It seemed to be the only medication that could control her pain and symptoms related to IBS.

Ge’s first thought: the patient’s state was caused by excess consumption of cannabis. But due to limited education, Ge didn’t feel comfortable counselling her cannabis use or providing additional resources. He ended up simply telling her to smoke less pot.

“On that night, she was the expert on cannabis use in that clinic room,” Ge said by phone. 

Like Ge, medical professionals across Canada are dealing with the uncomfortable task

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