Is there a double-standard when it comes to off-label pharmaceuticals and medical cannabis?

In Canada, all prescription pharmaceuticals (“drugs”) must be approved for sale by Health Canada. When Health Canada approves a drug for sale the approval stipulates, among other things; the population for whom the drug can be prescribed, the indication(s) 
the drug can treat, and the dosage(s) that can be administered. The use of an approved drug beyond the criteria set out in the product’s approval is referred to as “off-label” use. 

1 in 9 drugs are used off label: 99.2% of gabapentin is used off label and 75% of pediatric medications are used off label. According to a Health Canada report (below), 79% of off-label prescriptions were not supported by strong scientific evidence. (Strong evidence was described as at least one randomized, controlled clinical trial {RCT}.) Yet, when it comes to medical uses for cannabis, the same rules do not apply and the standards for evidence are so much more rigorous. As a physician seeing the positive impacts of cannabinoid therapy on my patients every day, I really question this double-standard — especially given cannabis’ excellent safety profile. 

Check out the Senate of Canada Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs Science and Technology on Prescription Pharmaceuticals in Canada - Off Label Use.