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Tips for Discussing Medical Marijuana Use with Your Doctor

TL;DR — Medical cannabis is a fairly new treatment option, so you may feel nervous about discussing it with your doctor. To ensure a positive experience, keep the following tips in mind: communicate your expectations and any concerns you have; be honest about previous experiences with marijuana; ask questions; and mention any other medications you’re currently taking.


Every person will experience health struggles at some point in life, whether mental or physical. Some of these ailments are easier to overcome, like a common cold. Others, however, can linger in ways you may not expect, such as chronic pain, PTSD, and insomnia.

At TeleLeaf, we’ve walked a mile in your shoes, and we know how frustrating it can be to get started on the path to alternative healing when dealing with these complex ailments. That’s why we strive to connect patients like you to healthcare professionals who are experts in medical marijuana treatment.

Curious about how to get a doctor’s recommendation for weed? In this guide, we’ll discuss the potential role of medical marijuana in a healing journey, who may benefit from its use, and the importance of speaking transparently and openly with a medical professional.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, which contains hundreds of compounds that affect the body and mind. Though it’s most well-known in America as a recreational drug, it has a long and storied history as a medicinal plant.

What do the statistics for marijuana legality look like in 2023?

  • Currently, 38 states allow for the use of medical marijuana
  • 24 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use
  • 6 states still completely prohibit the use of any marijuana products
  • CBD, one of many cannabis compounds, is federally legal to grow, purchase, and possess per the 2018 Farm Bill—a federal law

Because marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, even in states where it’s legalized, healthcare professionals can’t prescribe it. However, in states with medical legalization, they can certify patients for its use or write recommendations.

How Will Marijuana Affect You?

There are over 500 chemical compounds in marijuana, but two come up the most often in conversation:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) – This compound doesn’t have the psychoactive effects attributed to THC. Instead, it’s prized for its soothing and relaxing properties. Patients living with chronic pain or mental health concerns like depression have benefited from CBD use, as many of TeleLeaf’s patients attest. It can also help patients struggling with insomnia.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – This compound has psychoactive effects, meaning it results in a “high.” It can also provide an energy boost and help people struggling with both physical and mental challenges.

Marijuana products usually contain both THC and CBD, though it’s possible to get low-THC strains if you prefer to avoid a high. Cannabis compounds bind to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, creating a chemical reaction that can reduce pain sensitivity, improve mood, and more.

Who Benefits from Medical Marijuana?

A wide array of people of all ages, social classes, backgrounds, nationalities, and personal struggles have found medical marijuana a useful tool for healing. Whether you’re struggling with a physical disability, chronic pain, or mental health concerns, cannabis may help.

For Physical Conditions

Medical marijuana has been used to address issues related to chronic pain, including:

  • Movement disorders
  • Neuropathic pain as a result of nerve damage
  • Muscle spasms, such as those associated with multiple sclerosis
  • Epileptic disorders
  • Nausea

It’s also been used as an appetite stimulant in patients who live with illnesses that curb their hunger and put their nutrition levels and healthy weight at risk.

For Mental and Emotional Challenges

If you’re experiencing mental or emotional turmoil, you may find relief through medical marijuana, too.

Marijuana doctors often recommend it for patients living with:

  • Anxiety disorders, including social anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Insomnia

The relaxing properties associated with some strains of cannabis serve to combat many of the most common effects of mental health disorders, providing patients with mental clarity and feelings of peace.

Exploring Your Options With a Professional

Consulting with a certified medical marijuana doctor is a crucial step if you want to embark on a healing journey with cannabis.

But why should you speak to someone first?

  1. First and foremost, you’ll need a doctor’s written recommendation to access medical marijuana. Most states want patients to develop an in-depth nurse-patient or doctor-patient relationship, too.
  2. Medical personnel know the ins and outs of side effects and can explain what you should expect when you consume marijuana—they’ll fully prepare you for anything that may happen during your treatment.
  3. They’ll have more information on different strains and how they can help, cutting down on your own research time. They can also guide you on the best methods of consumption to suit your specific needs.
  4. They’ll be able to tell you if you shouldn’t try cannabis. Medical marijuana is a wonderful tool, but it’s not for everyone, nor is it necessary for every condition. On top of that, marijuana can interact poorly with certain pharmaceutical drugs, and a medical professional can identify combinations with any drugs you take.

All of the above aside, it’s also extremely beneficial to have someone knowledgeable in the medical field advocating for your care. This way, you can focus on healing and entrust a healthcare professional with the finer details of your treatment.

How To Bring Up Medical Marijuana With Your Doctor

Here’s the most important takeaway from learning how to get medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor: Honesty is critical.

Transparency and trust are two of the biggest components of a successful patient-healthcare provider relationship. Without these, you likely won’t get the care you deserve.

So, when communicating with a doctor about medical marijuana, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Communicate any expectations or concerns you have about how marijuana may impact your condition, either positively or negatively.
  • Be honest about any previous experiences you’ve had with marijuana and how it affected you, especially if it’s given you an idea of what sort of product you think may help now.
  • Ask as many questions as you want, especially if you’re a first-time user.
  • Make sure to mention any medications you’re currently taking.

Remember: there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and doctors are here specifically to guide you through this new and unfamiliar territory.

However, you may run into hurdles when seeking a recommendation for medical marijuana. These include:

  • Not all medical professionals are up-to-date with cannabis research.
  • Not every member of the medical community knows the differences between strains and how they can benefit and treat different ailments.
  • Some physicians are uncomfortable recommending medical marijuana for personal reasons.

This is where TeleLeaf comes in. We connect you with healthcare professionals who are already well-versed in medical marijuana and can talk to you in detail about their recommendations. You don’t have to worry about judgment or stigma with us—we only want to connect you to high-quality healing options.

Build Bridges to Healing With TeleLeaf

Whether you’re dealing with anxiety or living with chronic pain, medical marijuana might just be the natural, effective treatment option you need to find relief. And while discussing medical marijuana with a doctor may feel like a big first step, it’s less intimidating if you have proper guidance along the way.

At TeleLeaf, we’ve been where you’ve been, so we’re here to walk with you on every step of your healing journey. We’ll start by linking you with an informed healthcare professional so that you can discuss your unique situation in more detail. Then, you’ll receive invaluable guidance that can put you on a new path to healing.

Sign up today if you’re interested in discussing medical marijuana use with a healthcare professional and obtaining your medical cannabis card and recommendation.


Sources:

Healthline. What is medical marijuana?
https://www.healthline.com/health/medical-marijuana

US Department of Agriculture. Hemp
https://www.usda.gov/topics/hemp

Norml. Medical Marijuana
https://norml.org/marijuana/medical-marijuana

Health Central. How to Talk to Your Physician About Medical Cannabis: 10 Points to Guide You
https://www.healthcentral.com/pain-management/how-talk-your-physician-about-medical-cannabis-10-points-guide

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