Cure vs Treatment – Why We Choose Our Words Carefully

Specialists in cannabis medicine carefully use the term "treatment" instead of "cure" - to give a more accurate understanding of the confirmed benefits of cannabis, and to accurately manage expectations of patients who are often accessing cannabis in the absence of other effective treatment options for chronic and acute conditions.

When discussing natural medicines or making casual statements regarding medical care, it is very common for people to use the term ‘cure’. We often think of this word as a catch all term for effective medicines or as being interchangeable with words like remedy or treatment. However, it is important to note that cure is not a term one will often hear used by healthcare professionals when discussing medical care and medications, as they must always be mindful of the important distinction between a cure and a treatment.


When a patient no longer suffers from a medical condition following a procedure/treatment.


The successful management of a patients’ symptoms resulting from an ongoing medical condition.

Medical professionals who specialise in cannabis medicine are especially weary of using the term cure rather than treatment, as in the past the term has often been inappropriately and enthusiastically used by both cannabis advocates and outlaws alike.

On the subject of cure vs treatment, a notable tale in the larger international story of cannabis medicine is that of Canada’s Rick Simpson. Prior to the introduction of a robust regulatory framework for access to cannabis for medical purposes, a gentleman by the name of Rick Simpson gained fame and infamy through his passion for the use of cannabis medicine as what he would describe as a ‘cure’ for cancer. Having cultivated and processed cannabis extract to be used in the alleged treatment of his own skin cancer, Mr. Simpson soon became an outspoken advocate for the use of cannabis as a cancer ‘cure’. Despite federal law prohibiting him from doing so, this led to him cultivating and processing considerable amounts of cannabis extract which he then freely distributed to other cancer patients looking to follow in his footsteps. To this day, many still refer to ethanol extracted full spectrum cannabis crude oil as RSO (Rick Simpson Oil). While Mr. Simpsons efforts did earn him a place in the cannabis history books, those advocating for cannabis to become a fixture of modern medicine have made efforts to distance themselves from him and other prophets claiming cannabis to be a miracle cure.

Today’s cannabis medicine professionals choose instead to highlight ongoing efforts in clinical research on treatment efficacy to support the inclusion of cannabis in everyday modern medicine. The current body of research regarding the possible treatment applications of cannabis medicine has expanded to include a long list of conditions/symptoms.


Acute Pain

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis




Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autoimmune Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Cachexia / Poor Appetite

Cancer Related Pain

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic Pain

Crohn's Disease





Headache / Migraines


Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Insomnia / Sleep Disorders

Menstrual Pain / Cramping

Mood Disorders

Multiple Sclerosis

Muscle Spasticity

Nausea and Vomiting

Neuropathic Pain / Nerve Damage

Palliative Care

Parkinson’s Disease

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Seizure Disorders

Spinal Injuries


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