As more data and research comes to light, more Americans are becoming interested in the benefits of medical marijuana, or medical cannabis. While more than half of the states in America have legalized medical usage, the idea of approaching your primary care physician about treatments can be very intimidating. Although caution is natural, don’t allow shame or fear of repercussions stop you from finding the best type of treatment for you and your illness. When approaching the subject of medical marijuana with your doctor, keep these tips in mind to make the process a little easier.
Start the Conversation
This is by far the hardest part of the process. Alongside nerves and the fear of judgment, getting the word “marijuana” out of your mouth can seem awkward. However, there are a few ways you can bring up the subject to assess your physician’s attitude to the treatment type without having to put yourself out there. You could try talking about a “friend” who recently started using cannabis, you could mention a book or internet research you’ve recently read, or you can share a documentary or show that shed some light on the benefits of medical marijuana usage. These kind of tactics can help open the door to much-needed conversations with your care team.
Be Honest and Direct
Always remember that your health care options are up to you and that you know what is best for your body. While your doctor can offer more information and different options, but ultimately it is a patient’s right to choose the best treatment options for them. There are a few things you should expect to share in order for your physician to treat you to the best of their availabilities. After sharing why you are interested in cannabis and the symptoms it helps to alleviate, you should also specify whether you have used this type of treatment before and the results. If you have used medical marijuana previously, be prepared to detail how long you’ve used it, the consumption method, the dosage, and the types of strains used. The more information your doctor has, the more capable they become at determining the best route of treatment for you and your illness.
The more you know, the better. Everytime. However, it is important to remember that the legalization of medical marijuana is still reasonably new, and your doctor may not be the most educated on the subject. Ask your physician if they have taken any recent courses or read any recent material on medical cannabis to get an idea of their knowledge on the subject. There are doctors who specialize in this field of treatment that may be more help; it all depends on your state’s laws and what is around you. Consider asking questions such as “will cannabis interact with any of your other medications?”, “what type of cannabis would be best for my illness?”, “what side effects should I expect?”, or “do you know of any studies or research on cannabis and my particular condition?”
The idea of talking about medical marijuana usage can be a little frightening; nevertheless, it can be a huge step in discerning the best types of treatment for your condition. If you find the conversation didn’t go well or you feel uncomfortable with your current physician, there is always the option to look for a new practitioner. Remember that your doctor is concerned for your best interests, and is legally obligated to keep your communications private.