The AnnexPhysicians

Physicians

Help lay the foundation of the newly evolving medical cannabis industry

At Annex, you can think of us as a specialist. If your patient is looking for more natural-based options, you can refer them to our clinic where we will provide cannabis-based treatment recommendations.

We also provide clarification and guidance to physicians on medical cannabis evaluations, prescriptions and cards through our informational and training seminars.

You can also stay up to date on important industry and legislative changes through our monthly Annex digest.

Further Information for Physicians

The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine. However, scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continued research may lead to more medications.

Some preliminary studies have suggested that medical marijuana legalization might be associated with decreased prescription opioid use and overdose deaths, but researchers don't have enough evidence yet to confirm this finding. For example, one NIDA-funded study suggested a link between medical marijuana legalization and fewer overdose deaths from prescription opioids. A more detailed NIDA-funded analysis showed that legally protected medical marijuana dispensaries, not just medical marijuana laws, were also associated with a decrease in the following:

  • Opioid prescribing
  • Self-reports of opioid misuse
  • Treatment admissions for opioid addiction

Additionally, data suggests that medical marijuana treatment may reduce the opioid dose prescribed for pain patients and a recent study showed that availability of medical marijuana for Medicare patients reduced prescribing of medications, including opioids, for their pain.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemicals related to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s main mind-altering ingredient that makes people “high.” The marijuana plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids. The body also produces its own cannabinoid chemicals. They play a role in regulating pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, body movement, awareness of time, appetite, pain, and the senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight).

How might cannabinoids be useful as medicine?

Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical interest are THC and CBD. THC can increase appetite and reduce nausea. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation and muscle control problems.

Unlike THC, CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn't make people “high.” It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions. Many researchers, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are continuing to explore the possible uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids for medical treatment.

Click here for further research, clinical trials and case study references

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