Clinical burnout is one of the most prevalent issues in the healthcare profession currently. Medical professionals are already subject to long hours, high-stress situations, and irregular sleep schedules, which causes physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. The proliferation of the Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. Healthcare professionals are facing extraordinary challenges and are experiencing new levels of anxiety as a result.

Medical cannabis is a proven treatment for the relief of stress and anxiety, and the symptoms caused by clinical burnout are no exception. However, there remain serious obstacles to this being a practical option for medical professionals.

New Solution for Clinical Burnout?

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, clinical burnout had always been a concern within the medical profession. There are stringent laws in the books that limit the number of hours a doctor can work without rest. These laws were put in place to prevent errors that may occur when the medical professional is not sharp and “on their game.” No doubt, being emotionally and physically exhausted and stressed can also cause errors in judgment and emotional reactions.

Did You Know? Clinical burnout affects the quality of patient care, but that is not the only issue. Burnout has been shown to lead higher rates of suicide, anxiety, and depression among healthcare professionals.

With the reality of a pandemic now infiltrating our communities and healthcare system, healthcare professionals are even more overworked – and often isolated from their loved ones. The constant stress of dealing with an influx of patients, trying not to get infected themselves, keeping up with ever-changing PPE guidelines and regulations, and being undersupplied and understaffed has contributed to clinical burnout being more prevalent than ever.

Medical cannabis is a proven effective, non-addictive treatment for managing the stress and anxiety that clinical burnout can cause. Stress and anxiety cause many physical, mental, and emotional manifestations in the body, many of which medical cannabis can alleviate.

Medical cannabis has been proven to help with

  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • body aches/pains
  • nausea

Medical cannabis helps individuals to relax and achieve a sense of calm, as well as to reduce feelings of hopelessness and depression. Low doses of THC are effective in treating anxiety disorders and symptoms of depression by increasing serotonin levels. However, even though medical cannabis could help with clinical burnout, there remain barriers to use for medical professionals.

  • Employer guidelines and drug screenings trump any state laws allowing for the use of medical cannabis.
  • Federal law still prohibits the use of medical cannabis.
  • Medical professionals are expected to practice free of impairment of any illegal or illicit substances.
  • Due to its Schedule 1 federal status, medical cannabis may be interpreted in many cases as an illicit substance that can cause impairment.

Medical professionals are people with high-stress jobs in these high-stress times. The use of medical cannabis is one treatment option that could help reduce the symptoms of clinical burnout that such a high amount of stress can cause. However, state and federal laws, ethics codes, and employer drug testing present barriers for medical cannabis to be used more widely as an antidote to clinical burnout.

For more information on how medical cannabis can help you cope with stress, anxiety, and depression, call Dr. Stein at Neurology of Cannabis in Sarasota. As a leading expert in the use of cannabis to treat a wide range of symptoms and diseases, he can help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of determining the best treatment for your situation.