Not About Marijuana But About Healing

I know I submitted an article on marijuana about 4 months ago on our LinkedIn site, Psychiatry Online Lifelong Learning (POLL), but I thought I’d toss another one out there on “medical marijuana,” in quotes because the review here is really about cannabidiol, a very hot topic in Iowa right now.

Governor Terry Branstad is about to sign a law already passed by the state legislature legalizing cannabis oil for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Iowans won’t be able to buy the cannabis oil in Iowa but can go to Colorado to purchase it and bring it back to Iowa for legal use–as long as a neurologist writes a prescription for it.

I think it’s very interesting that the level of research is largely anecdotal for the clinical efficacy of cannabidiol in any disorder, psychiatric or neurologic, yet several states including Iowa are passing legislation paving the way for the use of cannabidiol.

The medical literature is often cast in that “on-the-other-hand” mold. Many small studies with widely differing methods and inconsistent results. My impression from this review is that the research is often conflicting. Parents of suffering children, on the other hand, are not so conflicted.

I sometimes wonder if the press coverage of Iowans leaving the state to obtain cannabidiol influenced congress and the governor at all in the accelerated passage of this law.

But then I’m probably just being ungenerous. It’s hard not to respond to parents who just want their child to have some relief from suffering, if only for a little while. They’ll go anywhere and do anything to heal.




  1. Dr. Athey says:

    I am a child Psychiatrist in Colorado and I can tell you that the use by teens is escalating and causing significant damage to them. They are buying in to the lies that it is not harmful, not worse than alcohol, not dangerous in any way. In the meantime we have had hundreds of children end up in the ED for ingesting MY in edible form. We have had more use, more psychosis, more dropouts in schools. I see teens every day psychotic from it and we think that it is OK!!! Our society is frankly so misinformed by lies, and our government hungry for tax dollars from selling it legally, that it has become an epidemic. I feel sorry for our future generations having to pay the cost for this mistake.


  2. Donna Lohmann says:

    Tough I am pro medical cannabis; I really wish it was not legal here in Washington State. Cannabis use has sky rocketed among teens; they see it as pretty benign.


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