Cleveland Clinic stands firmly against prescribing medical marijuana to patients

Medical marijuana sales in Ohio began on Jan. 16, 2019.
Medical marijuana sales in Ohio began on Jan. 16, 2019.
Updated: Jan. 11, 2019 at 3:01 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Clinic, voted one of the best hospitals in the United States, will not be prescribing medical marijuana to its patients because of the belief in better alternatives.

Medical marijuana has not been clinically tested extensively for safety and efficacy, it is not closely regulated from production to distribution, nor has it been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the Clinic’s “healthessentials” blog.

“To be clear, there is a difference between medications and ‘medical marijuana’ in the popular sense of the term,” Paul Terpeluk, DO, Medical Director, Employee Health Services at the Cleveland Clinic wrote.

While the Cleveland Clinic will not be prescribing medical marijuana, the hospital system does prescribe medications that contain the compound cannabidiol, or CBD.

“These are the types of marijuana-derived medicines Cleveland Clinic supports and prescribes,” Terpeluk added. “Unfortunately, that’s not what will be sold through dispensaries. Products such as vaporizers, edibles, oils, tinctures and patches all lack uniform dosing specificity.”

According to Ohio law, patients must meet at least one of 21 medical conditions to be prescribed marijuana. The Cleveland Clinic believes there are already safer products available that have been approved by the FDA.

Terpeluk concluded by writing, “As a healthcare provider our goal is to help patients, to treat their conditions, to improve their quality of life and to ease their suffering ― within the bounds of scientific evidence.”

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