The last 20 years have seen rapid change and improvement in the way American society views marijuana use. The same plant that once incited “reefer madness” is now recognized as a legitimate medical treatment in 33 states. However, many people are still terrified to talk to a medical provider about using cannabis-based products.
Here are a few tips to use when talking to your doctor about medical marijuana as a treatment:
- Be serious.
Talk to your doctor about medical marijuana the same way you would talk about any medication. Don’t use your state’s medical marijuana laws as an excuse to catch a legal high – you can travel to any of the ten states that allow recreational use for that.
- Be honest about past use.
This is a huge hurdle for a lot of people – openly admitting their past (or current) marijuana use. It’s incredibly important to be honest because your history with cannabis helps your doctor understand your tolerance level.
If you have minimal experience with it, you’ll want to start with a low-THC product and work your way up to the dosage that best fits your needs. If you’re an experienced marijuana user (whether for medical or recreational purposes), you may need a product with a higher THC ratio to really feel the therapeutic benefits. Your doctor will know what treatment to recommend, but only if you’re able to have an open and honest discussion with them.
- Do your research.
Take the time to research your specific condition or symptoms and how cannabis-based treatments may benefit you. Medical marijuana treatments come in a variety of formats and intake methods. Learning about your condition and the available treatment options ahead of your doctor’s appointment can prepare you for the discussion.
- Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion.
Unfortunately, many doctors weren’t trained on medical marijuana treatments when they were in medical school. If your doctor shows strong opposition to marijuana as a treatment, consider finding a doctor who’s licensed to recommend medical marijuana.
- Ask questions.
Medical marijuana can be confusing and intimidating, especially for the inexperienced user. Take some time to compile a list of questions before your appointment to ensure you cover everything. You need to understand how medical marijuana will affect your body and mind. And your doctor can only answer the questions you ask.
- Know that medical marijuana isn’t for everyone.
Medical marijuana treatments help millions of people every day. But, they aren’t a “cure all” or for everyone. It may not be right for you. And that’s ok. It’s up to you and your doctor to decide.
Ready to talk to your doctor about medical marijuana?
We encourage you to explore all of your options, learn as much as you can, and have an open discussion with your medical provider. The path to wellness is right in front of you – you just have to take the first step!