Top Five Lessons From Day One of Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference

Health care professionals from all over the country are gathering in Denver through Thursday for the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference at the 1770 Sherman Street Event Complex. Yesterday's speakers covered a range of topics, including a care provider's duty to the patient, the difficulties in dosing and detailed discussions about how marijuana behaves in the brain and the body. Here are five major takeaways from day one.

See also: Marijuana: MMJ Patient Numbers Drop Slightly Despite High Rec Prices, Lawmakers' Fears

Number 5: There are many inherent problems with prescribing plants to treat a condition.

Dr. Larry Wolk, director of the Colorado Department of Health, compared marijuana to foxglove in his opening remarks. As a physician, he noted, it isn't as easy to recommend that a patient with a heart condition grow foxglove at home and then prepare it for consumption in order to reap the effects of digitalis. Instead, physicians prescribe Digitalin, which contains a single chemical rather than the many that comprise a plant.

Number 4: However, many physicians believe that the marijuana plant has benefits that its extracted chemical components lack.

Physicians who are willing to work with medical marijuana and its chemical components are not blind to the fact that many of their patients prefer the plant to other laboratory-created options, such as Marinol -- and many of them believe there is a valid medical reason for this preference. The presence of so many more chemicals in marijuana than in Marinol mean that those additional components are interacting in the body alongside the "active" components such as THC and CBD that are typically isolated.

Continue for more lessons learned during day one of the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference.
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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen

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