UK physicians urged to embrace cannabis like penicillin by professor
Prof David Nutt wants the medical industry to embrace cannabis like it did penicillin.
Former UK chief drug advisor Nutt is publishing articles in prominent journals that he hopes will encourage physicians to “embrace cannabis like penicillin.”
“About 70 years ago another natural medicine came into the medical arena,” Nutt said of penicillin. “This was welcomed enthusiastically by UK doctors even though there had been no placebo-controlled trials of its efficacy, because it was seen to fulfill a major clinical need.”
The same is true for patients suffering from debilitating conditions such as severe epilepsy, Nutt says, therefor the response to medical cannabis should be the same as how penicillin was embraced 70 years ago despite its lack of clinical trials.
In recent years, the UK has received heat over the number of high-profile cases of young patients being denied access to medical cannabis products, including non-psychoactive CBD.
The public outcry has resulted in the slight loosening of the UK’s restrictive medical cannabis policy; however, doctors are still apprehensive to prescribe cannabis to patients, especially minors.
Nutt says the rollout of UK’s medical cannabis program “has been much slower than patients and parents had hoped.”
Nutt reckons the medical community is still in fear about the adverse implications of prescribing cannabis. In the article he writes about cannabis-induced psychosis, “ignorance” about medical cannabis’ value as well as the challenges of procuring products.
Nutt is in no way saying we need to ignore these concerns. He is all-for continued investigation but feels doctors should be more open to embracing medical cannabis treatments like they did for penicillin.
Prof David Nutt feels that patients with severe and debilitating conditions present an urgent clinical need, and if cannabis can meet that need, why stop it?