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How to Talk to Your Physician About Medical Cannabis:

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10 Points to Guide You

Marijuana has proven to effectively combat several diseases and conditions such as epilepsy, migraines, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Parkinson’s. Marijuana is typically used medically as an alternative to prescription medication that would be detrimental to psychological health. In cases where marijuana is the safer alternative to prescription medication, qualified physicians, such as those at Missouri Green Team – Medical Marijuana Doctors & Recommendations, would prescribe it. The prescription process follows a thorough medical background check. The following guidelines would help you as a patient know what to ask and why. 

Medical Cannabis Varies 

Medical cannabis is derived from the plant known as Cannabis sativa. Like any other plant, there are numerous different strains. What defines medical cannabis, as per the experts, are the molecules in the plants that have medicinal properties. The molecules are known as cannabinoids, of which two are widely known for their effectiveness: THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). THC is responsible for psychoactive effects, while CBD has therapeutic properties.  

Medical Cannabis Can Be Applied to a Wide Range of Conditions

Cannabinoids are primarily used in the treatment of pain and anxiety. However, other common conditions include ADD/ADHD, nausea, multiple sclerosis, depression, autism, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Medical cannabis application also depends on the patient’s current situation. For example, Pregnant women and schizophrenics should only use cannabis under supervision. Also, it is dangerous to use cannabis with other psychoactive drugs. 

Medical Cannabis Exists in Different Forms

Your physician should recommend the best THC to CBD ratio for the best results. You should also receive guidance on dosages and methods of administration. Medical marijuana can be smoked, taken under the tongue, used topically, or vaporized. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best administration technique. 

Side Effects 

Though few, side effects of cannabis exist and may include paranoia, dysphoria, and panic attacks. The side effects depend on dosages and are more prevalent amongst new users and recreational users. To avoid severe side effects, you should start on low dosages and go slow with them. 

You Need a Physician’s Recommendation, Not a Prescription, for Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug which means that doctors recommend usage instead of formally prescribing it. If you qualify to use cannabis medically, your physician can recommend it. Only then will you be allowed to purchase from a dispensary. The doctor’s recommendation can be used to apply for a medical marijuana card, a formal state document. The card can help you prove to law enforcement that you are using marijuana for legitimate medical reasons. Even though a doctor’s letter is recognized by law, police officers may choose to ignore it, thus needing a card. 

Cannabis Laws Are State-dependent 

You may need to check the specific cannabis laws for your state using various online resources. The Federal Law prohibits the use of medical marijuana, except for states that have controlled medical cannabis laws. States with controlled laws only require a recommendation from a physician, and you are safe. What’s more, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) clarifies that the laws are not in place to target individuals using it medically but are present to protect them from drug rings. In states that approve medical marijuana use, the amendments protect both patients and their physicians. 

Bringing Up the Subject of Medical Cannabis with Your Physician 

Using cannabis therapeutically may be an uncomfortable subject to broach with your doctor. It may help to introduce the subject indirectly. For example, You could try talking about someone you know who is interested in using marijuana for medical purposes, mentioning an article or a book you read on the subject, a news or television show you recently watched, or a documentary you watched about it. 

Not All Doctors Are on Top of Their Medical Cannabis Research. 

The assumption that any doctor is well versed on the topic of medical cannabis use is false. A surefire way of finding out if your doctor is up-to-date with the latest research is to ask whether they have attended any recent workshops or seminars on the subject. Each doctor should be aware of the specifics involved, especially dosages and alternative treatments. 

You Can Always Find a Medical Cannabis Specialist 

Your doctor may not be comfortable recommending medical cannabis for several reasons not related to your condition. You can ask your physician to refer to a specialist or go online and track down specialists through the Medical Marijuana Association. 

The Impact of Medical Cannabis Use on Career and Finances 

Medical cannabis can be used circumstantially to discredit your position even if your state laws recognize it. Regular usage could affect your life insurance premiums or affect your job in the event of a drug test, especially if your employer refuses to accept it. You may opt for synthetic variants in the event of an expected conflict. 

Do You Qualify for Medical Marijuana? 

Your best bet is to do your research on the subject of medical marijuana. You will need to find out if it is legal in your state and the implications of the drug, among other things. A plain recommendation is not enough to be on the safe side.

More on this topic:

4 Reasons Cannabis Helps With Stress And Anxiety

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