National expert cites benefits of medical cannabis in lecture series

September 20, 2019

By Kerry Gunnels

Canna Web3

The growing interest in the use of cannabis for medical purposes is the result of a demand by patients for treatment options, a national expert on pain medicine says.

“This is the result of a grassroots movement – sorry for the pun, but it’s true,” said Michael K. Moskowitz, MD, MPH, who runs a clinical practice in California and is board certified in both psychiatry and pain medicine.

Dr. Moskowitz joined a panel of experts in medical cannabis to discuss the use of the plant in treating patients at a joint lecture sponsored by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, or BRIT, and UNT Health Science Center.

The discussion is the first of an annual lecture series the two organizations will present on important and thought-provoking topics.

“The lecture series offers a forum for community education, thought-provoking dialogue and exploration of significant scientific topics like medical cannabis,” said Ed Schneider, PhD, BRIT president and executive director.

As the public demand for medical cannabis increases and scientific research on its possible benefits expands, the federal government eventually will have little choice but to legalize it on a national basis, predicted Moskowitz, who has lectured on the use of medical cannabis since 2010 and has focused since 2015 on its use to treat anxiety and pain.

Canna Web

“This horse is already out of the barn,” he said. “It left the county, the state, the country a long time ago.”

Pat Maloy, CEO of Cansortium Inc., a medical cannabis company that cultivates, processes and retails cannabis products, said the public doesn’t “understand the level of legalization” that already exists across the country.

According to the National Cannabis Industry Association, 29 states now have comprehensive medical cannabis programs and another 17 have more limited laws.

Even in Texas, state law makers earlier this year broadened the state’s restrictive medical cannabis law to permit its use to treat more conditions, including terminal cancer and autism, Maloy said.

Federal legalization would guarantee safety, standardize quality, regulate production standards and limit the black-market production of medical cannabis products, he said.

Canna Web4

Moskowitz said his research has involved exploring the various medical properties of different strains of cannabis plants and in blending those strains to produce benefits for patients with different maladies.

More research is needed, particularly in the clinical area, “that goes beyond the mom-and-pop stuff that we’ve been able to do,” he said.

Moskowitz said the use of medical cannabis also could have a major impact on the national opioid crisis, pointing out that in states where patients have access to medical cannabis, opioid use has dropped 25 percent.

“From a treatment standpoint, we’re really at the beginning,” he said. “Patients don’t want to get high. They want to be able to deal with their medical problem. They to be a part of their own treatment.”

Students Arm In Arm Unt Health Science Center Fc
UNTHSC and Quest Diagnostics announce collaboration to accelerate health care research

UNT Health Science Center and Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, have formed a unique collaboration that converges data, research and technologies to help improve prevention and treatment for individuals at high-risk for preventable diseases, su...Read more

Jan 21, 2020

Denise Hernandez Holds Her Daughter Abigail Celia Hernandez, 6 Months Old.
Health literacy can save your life

By Jan Jarvis If anyone can navigate through the complex health care system, it is Dr. Dan McCoy. A physician and President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Dr. McCoy knows his way around a hospital. But when his 93–year-old father fell and broke his hip, Dr. McCoy was ensnared by a s...Read more

Jan 21, 2020

Phillip Saperstein Unt Health Sceince Center Fc
50 Heroes: Dr. Paul Saperstein

Dr. Saperstein provided empathetic, high-quality care to countless patients at the UNTHSC Patient Care Clinic on East Seminary Drive. He retired in 2010. A U.S. Navy veteran, Dr. Saperstein operated a private practice in Kansas City, Mo., and Fort Worth prior to joining UNTHSC. At HSC, Dr. Sapers...Read more

Jan 20, 2020

Dhan Rimal Fitsteps For Life Unt Health Science Center Fc
Increasing your odds of beating cancer

By Jan Jarvis FitSteps for Life at UNTHSC Learn more about how to participate in FitSteps for Life at UNT Health Science Center. Learn More Four months after undergoing surgery to remove much of his right lung, Phil Moroneso steps on a treadmill and walks at a...Read more

Jan 16, 2020