For patients suffering from medical conditions, breaching the topic of medical cannabis with their doctor can be difficult. If you are in this position, you may be unsure how to begin the dialogue or fear that bringing it up will negatively affect your access to healthcare or insurance.
First, let’s be clear: asking your doctor about cannabis as a treatment option is not against the law and no repercussions will come as a result. It is well within your rights to seek the treatment options you feel are best for you or your family.
Below are some suggestions for how to best approach the topic of medical marijuana with your doctor.
Open Your Dialogue
There are a number of ways to open your discussion regarding medical cannabis as a treatment option. You may mention someone you know who has successfully used cannabis. You can also bring up documentaries you’ve seen, news stories you’ve read, or medical studies that are relevant to your condition.
All of these will take on the difficult task of first bringing up the topic of medical marijuana. Once the door to the conversation is opened, it is easier to move into discussing possible benefits and treatment routines to match your specific needs.
It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it is important to be as candid as possible when speaking with your doctor or healthcare specialist, especially when mentioning your interest in seeking medical marijuana.
The more information you can provide to your doctor, the better they will be able to recommend the right cannabis products – such as high CBD extracts, full-spectrum oils, or topical salves and lotions – for your individual medical condition. Don’t be afraid to reveal why you are interested in marijuana or share your frustrations with your current treatments.
It is important to ask your healthcare provider questions about medical marijuana to judge their experience and knowledge of the subject or to learn more about how cannabis can be used effectively to treat the symptoms of your condition. Here are just a few questions you can bring up to your doctor.
- What is your past experience using cannabis to treat your patients?
- Do you know of any studies or research on cannabis and my particular condition?
- Where can I find reputable information about cannabis? Can you point me toward any medical studies about cannabis being used to treat patients with my condition?
- What type of cannabis product would be the best for my particular condition?
- Should I use CBD, THC, or both?
- How do you recommend that I consume my medical marijuana?
- What sort of health care costs should I expect if I start purchasing medical marijuana?
- Will medical cannabis interact with any of my other medications or make them less effective?
- Are there any adverse health effects or possible complications I should be aware of?
- Should I avoid using cannabis if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?
- Are there any activities I should avoid while using cannabis?
These and other questions you ask your doctor can help you discover the best possible course of treatment for your condition, including the addition of cannabis products.
It helps when discussing medical marijuana with your doctor to be as informed as possible ahead of time.
Do your research: not all doctors are well versed in the use of cannabis as a treatment option. Coming to your doctor’s appointment prepared with medical information about how cannabis can assist your condition can help to convince your healthcare provider that you are serious about pursuing a medical marijuana treatment option.
Know When to Seek a Second Opinion
If your current doctor is closed to the idea of a medical cannabis treatment for your condition, don’t be afraid to look for an alternative health care provider. Even with the body of research published online about the benefits of medical marijuana, its use is still considered controversial by some doctors.
If you are interested in medical marijuana, we urge you to visit our education page. Here we get you started by discussing medical marijuana research, state medical marijuana laws, and common questions about using cannabis.