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‘Keep Workers Working’ with Medicinal Cannabis: Unlocking the Potential of Paid Health Benefits!

Did you know one in five people suffer from chronic pain, which leaves many unable to work?

Chronic pain is causing a significant burden in Canada. In 2019, the total cost of chronic pain reached over $40 billion, including health care costs and lost productivity. Health Canada projects that between 2019 and 2030, the number of people with chronic pain will rise by 17.5%, primarily because of population growth and aging. During this period, an increase in costs by 36% is anticipated.1

People living with pain in Canada face barriers to accessing care, employment support, and other essential services. Medicinal cannabis, when used responsibly and under medical supervision, has shown promise in enhancing the quality of life and fostering overall well-being.2 By offering this as a paid health benefit, a supportive environment is created where employees can focus on their professional endeavours minimizing disruptions stemming from health concerns.

At Starseed, our aim is to ‘Keep Workers Working,’ which involves raising awareness about the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis to manage certain chronic conditions and enhance overall health. With the primary goal of reducing stigma, promoting education, and advocating for accessible medicinal cannabis.

Integrating medicinal cannabis into a Company’s health benefit plan provides employees with accessible and affordable treatment options. Recent research has also suggested access to medicinal cannabis through employee health benefits can have a positive impact on workplace attendance and productivity.3 When employees have access to effective pain management and stress relief, they are more likely to stay engaged, motivated, and committed to their roles, ultimately contributing to a more vibrant and successful work environment.

What actions can be taken? As we champion medicinal cannabis coverage, let’s work together with policymakers, HR professionals, and healthcare experts to ensure a progressive approach to medicinal cannabis coverage.

At Starseed, we are committed to offering in-depth education about our medicinal cannabis program, with a responsible approach to its integration within a health benefit plan. For more information, please feel free to reach out to

Together, we can unlock the potential of medicinal cannabis to ‘Keep Workers Working’ and build a healthier, more resilient workforce for the future.

1 Canada, H. (2021, May 5). Canadian Pain Task Force Report: March 2021.
2 Arkell, T. R., Downey, L. A., Hayley, A. C., & Roth, S. (2023). Assessment of Medical Cannabis and Health-Related Quality of Life. JAMA Network Open, 6(5), e2312522.

Previous Article
Talking to Youth About Medicinal Cannabis on International Youth Day
International Youth Day is a special occasion to celebrate the vibrant energy and potential of our younger generation. It also presents a valuable opportunity for open and honest discussions on crucial topics, including medicinal cannabis. As more people embrace the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis, it is essential to provide our youth with accurate information and insights. This blog post aims to provide guidance on how to approach and engage in constructive conversations about medicinal cannabis with the youth. 1. Establish a Safe and Non-Judgement Environment The first step in discussing medicinal cannabis with youth is to create a safe and non-judgmental space. Assure them that their questions and concerns are valid, and that you are open to having an honest dialogue. Avoid using scary tactics or making assumptions about their knowledge on the subject. Instead, actively listen to their perspectives and experiences to gain a better understanding of their perceptions. 2. Educate on the Difference Between Medicinal and Recreational Cannabis It's crucial to clarify the distinction between medicinal and recreational cannabis. Explain that medicinal cannabis is prescribed by qualified healthcare professionals to treat specific medical conditions and alleviate symptoms. Emphasize that it is not the same as recreational cannabis, which is used for non-medical purposes and can have different effects on the body and mind. 3. Provide Accurate Information on the Science and Research Raise awareness among the youth by providing them with accurate and evidence-based information about the science behind medicinal cannabis. Discuss the different cannabinoids present in cannabis, such as THC and CBD, and their potential therapeutic benefits. Share reputable sources of information, such as scientific studies and government resources, to help them better understand the topic. 4. Address Misconceptions and Myths Medicinal cannabis can be surrounded by misconceptions and myths. Address these misconceptions honestly and transparently. For example, clarify that medicinal cannabis does not lead to addiction when used as prescribed by healthcare professionals. Or not all cannabis makes you "high"; CBD, a major cannabinoid, is not intoxicating and has no "mind-altering" effects. It may be difficult for some to communicate with youth about cannabis. Feel free to use Drug-free Kids Canada as a great resource for having these difficult conversations. International Youth Day serves as an ideal occasion to engage in meaningful conversations with young individuals about significant topics that impact their lives. Talking to youth about medicinal cannabis is an essential step in providing them with accurate information, fostering responsible decision-making, and empowering them to make informed choices regarding their health. Together, let’s equip the next generation with the knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of medicinal cannabis and promote a healthier future for all. References: Cannabis Use and Youth: A parent’s guide | Here to Help. (2018). Cannabis: What Parents/Guardians and Caregivers Need to Know. (n.d.). Retrieved August 7, 2019, from Health Canada. (2010). How to Talk with Your Teen about Drugs - Communication Tips for Parents - The Guiding Principles of Education the Sensible Cannabis Education Toolkit Series. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2023, from
Next Article
Cannabis as a Potential Tool to Manage Opioid Cravings
The opioid epidemic has cast a long, dark shadow over public health, claiming countless lives and leaving communities devastated. As if the opioid crisis weren’t challenging enough, the emergence of unregulated opioids has exacerbated the situation, leading to a drug toxicity crisis. In Ontario, construction workers are estimated to account for 30 to 50% of all opioid-related deaths1. Workers report the physical pain of their jobs as a reason for their drug use. According to a report by Public Health Ontario, 78% of overdose deaths had an injury or pain diagnosis prior to death (mainly fractures, dislocations, strains, or sprains, as well as low back pain2. A recent study published in the journal of Drug Policy sheds light on the potential of cannabis to manage opioid cravings in people who are using unregulated opioids3. Unregulated Opioids and Drug Toxicity Crisis Unregulated opioids have infiltrated the illicit drug market, resulting in a surge of overdose cases and fatalities. As these synthetic opioids flood the streets, consumers are faced with dangerous threat due to their unpredictable potency and composition. Traditional harm reduction strategies, such as naloxone distribution and supervised consumption sites, struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of unregulated drugs. This is where cannabis steps into a new role – as a potential harm reduction tool. Exploring the Cannabis-Opioid Connection: Insights from a New Study The study published in Drug Policy delves into the intriguing relationship between cannabis and opioid use. It suggests that cannabis might play a role in managing opioid cravings, potentially providing a safer alternative for individuals entrenched in the unregulated opioid crisis. The researchers gather data from individuals with a history of opioid use who turned to cannabis for relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The findings indicate “cannabis use to manage opioid cravings was reported by 118 (57.6%) participants. In the multivariable analysis, cannabis use to manage opioid cravings was significantly associated with self-reported reductions in opioid use.”3 The Mechanisms Behind the Connection The study proposes several potential mechanisms through which cannabis might alleviate opioid cravings. One key mechanism is the interaction between cannabinoids found in cannabis and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, pain, and appetite. By modulating the ECS, cannabis could potentially disrupt the reinforcing pathways associated with opioid cravings, providing consumers with a viable coping mechanism during withdrawal. A Step Forward, Not a Panacea It’s essential to view cannabis as a complementary approach rather than a panacea for the complex issue of opioid addiction. While the study’s findings are promising, they should serve as a starting point for further research and discussions among policymakers and healthcare professionals. References:  [1] Gomes, T. et al. Changing Circumstances Surrounding Opioid-Related Deaths in Ontario During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ontario Drug Policy Research Network / The office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario / Ontario Forensic Pathology Service / Public Health Ontario. May 2021. [2] Public Health Ontario. (2022). Construction workers disproportionately impacted by opioid-related deaths, report find. Retrieved from [3] Reddon, H., Lake, S., María Eugenia Socías, Hayashi, K., DeBeck, K., Walsh, Z., & Milloy, M-J. (2023). Cannabis use to manage opioid cravings among people who use unregulated opioids during a drug toxicity crisis. International Journal of Drug Policy, 119, 104113–104113.