Recently, medical marijuana has made the news often, as more states legalize the substance, and increasing numbers of people use it to help them deal with pain and for other treatment options.
Yet, if you’re never imbibed cannabis before, it can be a daunting path. There is a lot to know, and it’s important to learn what you can upfront and feel like you know enough to proceed safely and comfortably. Here’s the lowdown to help get you started.
Tips for Discussing Medical Marijuana Usage with Your Doctor
Medical marijuana may be legal in much of the country, but this doesn’t mean everyone feels comfortable talking about it. If you’ve never tried cannabis or don’t have a good relationship with your health practitioner, you may feel nervous about bringing up the topic at your next appointment. Some doctors are resistant to patients trying medical marijuana, too, which makes things more awkward.
To move forward, though, find a way to have a frank discussion with your healthcare provider. Be honest about why you want to try the substance and what you hope to achieve from doing so. If you haven’t seen the doctor before, or not in recent times, be upfront about any medications you’re currently on. The practitioner needs to know.
If your current doctor isn’t keen for you to start using medical marijuana, try to work out if this is because they have specific concerns related to your health, or if it’s because they’re against cannabis in general. If the latter, consider seeking a second opinion with another doctor before dismissing the idea.
No one else knows your body, the pain you feel, or other effects, so speak with different doctors until you find one that seems to be on the same page as you or who adequately explains why testing cannabis isn’t a good idea for you, specifically.
Consider Different Medical Marijuana Offerings
There are different types of medical marijuana on offer, so you want to try the right option for your needs. THC, for instance, is said to be helpful when it comes to reducing nausea and increasing appetite, as well as assisting with pain management and the reduction of inflammation and muscle control issues.
CBD, on the other hand, is a cannabinoid that doesn’t give a “high” and can help with reducing pain and inflammation and possibly even controlling seizures, amongst other things. Check out https://weedmaps.com/learn/dictionary/cbd/ for further information.
Examples of Approved Health Conditions
To determine what you may be able to use medical marijuana for, legally, in your state, do your research. Each area has different laws governing what can be dispensed, and to whom, so discover the specifics related to where you live.
There are, however, various health problems that come up on the list of approved conditions for cannabis treatment in many states, which will give you an indication of what may be possible for you with the appropriate medical card. Here are some of the most common:
- Management of chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Debilitating epileptic conditions, like seizures
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Persistent muscle spasms and tremors
- Nerve pain
- Ulcerative colitis
- Hepatitis C
- Severe arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
When You’re Ready to Buy Medical Marijuana
To legally obtain and consume medical marijuana, follow a few steps. Again, there are different laws in different states, but as a general guide, start by heading to a licensed dispensary. Here you’ll be able to get safe, regulated products of high quality.
At the dispensary, let the worker know you’re a new patient. They’ll request documents like your medical card, marijuana prescription, and driver’s license or some other form of accepted ID. You’ll need to fill out a detailed new patient form, too. Plus, many dispensaries will only accept cash payment, rather than transactions on credit or debit cards.
You’ll also need to let the dispensary assistant know what type of cannabis you want. There are various ways to consume it (e.g., as a pill, via smoking it, rubbing it into the skin through a lotion, as a spray, or as an edible), each with their own pros and cons that relate to preference, budget, medical needs, etc.
Tips for Using Medical Marijuana
Get advice from your doctor about how much medical marijuana to use and how often to ingest it. It’s best to start with a small amount and build up from there as you can better handle it and/or need more.
Be careful, too, not to get caught up by taking more than the recommended dosage because you think the substance isn’t having an effect. It takes time to move through your system, so allow for this.
Trying medical marijuana might be a foreign process to you, and one that makes you feel awkward and stressed, but it is manageable if you follow the tips listed above.