An expert discussed the ways the multiple sclerosis community can create change and ultimately improve education on cannabis use.
Robert Fox, MD: It’s a tricky topic given that the legality is still in transition. It also has a lot of baggage connected around it to some degree as a formerly illegal substance. There’s a lot of emotional baggage and potentially legal baggage around it. We need to realize that we must go back and look at the scientific studies around cannabis and what it’s been found to do. There’s also a need to just inform the care providers about what we know, what our patients are doing, and then to advise them regarding the safety profile, the expected side effects, and the expected benefits.
Some of our patients are using it to slow the progression of MS, which has shown to probably not work. To slow the progression of MS with cannabis, at least to this point, is not a well-founded use. Many of our patients don’t understand the side effects and don’t know what to expect from cannabis. There is a fair bit of opportunity. Where can that come from? Well, I think it comes from the various societies and associations to which we, as providers belong to, to recognize that unmet need for education and then to start filling it.