Best Treatment for Migraines? Marijuana
July 22, 2013
David Downs, San Francisco Chronicle
Marijuana is the best treatment for migraines, writes the father of internal medicine, Dr. Sir William Osler in “The Principles and Practice of Medicine” first published in 1892.
“Cannabis indica is probably the most satisfactory remedy [for migraines],” Osler wrote, agreeing with Edward Constant Seguin – the president of the New York Neurological Society and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons professor.
Such stunning endorsements for pot come courtesy of a new online medical cannabis study program initiated by TheAnswerPage.com, which is sponsored and accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society – the oldest continuously-operating state medical society in the United States.
Founded in 1998, TheAnswerPage began offering Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses on medical marijuana July 9. While the information on TheAnswerPage is designed mainly for physicians and healthcare professionals, a daily Q&A on medical marijuana is written for the lay person.
For example, The Answer Page asks: “How many overdose deaths have occurred from cannabis?”
The answer? “Zero. Cannabis, even in concentrated forms, is incapable of causing overdose in humans.”
TheAnswerPage.com medical cannabis coursework is a response to doctors’ appalling lack of knowledge about one of the oldest, safest, pain and nausea drugs in existence. In a January interview, San Francisco General Hospital chief of Oncology Dr. Donald Abrams told me most general practitioners are “absolutely not” experts on cannabinoid therapies. Dr. Abrams lamented the low attendance at a San Francisco CME course on cannabis this year. “I think that’s really sad.”
“Most medical schools are lagging in teaching the scientific facts about the medicinal use of cannabis,” said Sunil K. Aggarwal, MD, PhD, resident physician at NYU Medical Center. “It’s great that doctors can now get excellent and rapid CME training on medical marijuana at TheAnswerPage.”
Medical marijuana may be controversial, but it is an important area of study in healthcare, states TheAnswerPage co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Stephen B. Corn, MD, a physician, researcher, inventor and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Medical use of the botanical is legal in 18 states. Over 750,000 Californians are thought to have a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis.
“Doctors and healthcare professionals must understand the medical, legal, social and political issues to best respond to their patients’ questions and attend to their needs,” he said.
TheAnswerPage coursework focuses on several aspects of medical marijuana, including: the five most studied cannabinoids and an explanation of the endocannabinoid system; state and federal marijuana laws; the FDA drug approval process as it pertains uniquely to marijuana, including information on pre-clinical trials, phase I, II and III trials, new drug applications and the drug marketing process.
In conjunction with TheAnswerPage coursework, advocacy group Americans for Safe Access is holding “wake and learn” sessions every day at 10 a.m. PST on Facebook and Twitter.
“Popular support for medical marijuana is strong across the country, but there are still significant gaps in knowledge among patients and their doctors,” said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. “We’re hopeful that these gaps can begin to be filled with the relevant and crucial information provided by TheAnswerPage.”
TheAnswerPage uses the Socratic question-and-answer teaching method that characterizes much of the clinical educational experience. The content, written by academic clinicians respected in their fields, is peer-reviewed and referenced from current texts and recent literature. Subscribers receive AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits™ by reading the content and completing an industry-unique interactive crossword puzzle. Subscribers have personal accounts that organize their CME credits and allow them to download, email or print CME certificates for credentialing and licensing.
“Registering and content remain free so that physicians, researchers and other healthcare professionals around the world may take advantage of the exceptional content and reinforce their learning through our interactive crossword puzzle methodology,” said John Stephenson, CEO of The Answer Page, Inc.