Herbal Medicine's Hidden Risks Pose Threat to Health
The title of this article highlighted on February 27, 2017 as Top News by this daily email, MDLinx, to thousands of physicians aligns with the party line about herbals and most health foods from the medical profession. The same people who are ignoring the risks of "Taxable" Marijuana by allowing members of our profession to "recommend" so-called "Medical" Marijuana (MM) still condemn herbal medicine. Marijuana is an herb. We physicians should soundly refuse to recommend the MM because of its risks, but read The German Commission E Report which scientifically analyzes other herbal medicines. It then identifies risks and benefits of the herbal medicines in medical and civilian terms, suitable for decision making about their use. No marijuana isn't included in their analysis. It has too many cannabinoids to qualify as medical or understandable as a medicine. As chemicals are extracted from cannabis, they are being individually studied for potential benefits and harms in FDA approved research processes. Since the FDA still lists marijuana as a schedule I drug (same Schedule as heroin), it is illegal for a physician to prescribe it. Asking physicians to "recommend" it, as many state legislatures have done, is dishonoring of the medical profession and demonstrating a poor understanding of a still worthy profession, if medical ethical standards are reaffirmed for the protection of society.