Colleges set guidelines for marijuana

Physicians need to ensure conventional therapies are exhausted before prescribing medical marijuana, say many provincial colleges.

The seven provincial colleges of physicians that have issued guidelines are urging their members to take a cautious approach to prescribing medical marijuana.

The uncertainty over the risks and benefits of the drug and the lack of reliable data on its clinical effects are underlying caveats in guidelines from the colleges. The colleges advise physicians to take great care when deciding whether to prescribe cannabis to patients and to first ensure that conventional therapies have been exhausted. Read more in CMAJ.