Real talk on Twitter about medical cannabis and arthritis

February 18, 2016

When you mention medical cannabis to someone living with arthritis, they usually have a lot of questions – How does it work? Is it safe? Is it right for me? How do I access it?

The Arthritis Society is taking to Twitter to help provide people with answers.

Join us on Twitter (@ArthritisSoc #JointTalk) Saturday, February 27 between 1 and 2pm EST.

The Society is hosting a live Twitter Chat on Saturday, February 27, to hear from people living with arthritis and answer their questions about medical cannabis. Experts Dr. Jason McDougall, a pain researcher from Dalhousie University, and Dr. Danial Schecter, a prescribing physician from the Cannabinoid Medical Clinic in Toronto, will field questions on this increasingly hot topic and answer them in real time. 

“Two thirds of people already accessing medical cannabis are doing so to help ease symptoms of arthritis, so we feel it’s important to facilitate the conversation,” says Joanne Simons, Chief Mission Officer at The Arthritis Society. “It can be difficult for many people to find answers about medical cannabis and arthritis in their local community, so we’re bringing the conversation to Twitter to get everyone involved.”

For the past year, The Society has been leading the call for more research into the effects of medical cannabis and its impact for people living with arthritis. In December, The Society hosted a round table that brought more than 25 organizations together to discuss priorities for research into medical cannabis going forward. The resulting report will be released early this year. 

“Medical cannabis, prescribed by a doctor, can be effective in alleviating arthritis pain, inflammation and fatigue,” Dr. McDougall explains. “However, more research is needed to better answer many of the questions around its use.”

With the federal government considering the legalization of recreational cannabis, the need for clear information about its medical use will become even more relevant.

“Cannabis is a medication like anything else,” says Dr. Danial Shechter, “you should be able to ask your doctor questions about dosage, safety, side effects and other medications. This Twitter chat will help prepare patients and their caregivers for a conversation about whether medical cannabis might be an option in the treatment of their arthritis.”

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