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How to Start Talking to Your Doctor about Medical Marijuana

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May 18, 2016 9:00 AM

How_to_Start_Talking_to_Your_Doctor_about_Medical_Marijuana.jpgMedical marijuana’s past is rocky in North America, but more and more people are now getting prescriptions from their doctors in order to treat their medical conditions or illnesses in a safe and all-natural way. If you think medicinal cannabis might be the right treatment option for you, the first step you need to take is to talk to your doctor about it.

However, this is often easier said than done. Many patients do not know how to bring up the subject to their doctors or feel uncomfortable doing so, others want to defer to their doctors’ orders, while some do not want to be labelled difficult by providing an alternative option. But if you’re serious about legally treating your medical issue with cannabis, then there’s no way around it—you must start talking to your doctor about medical marijuana. Use these tips to create a meaningful and open exchange with your doctor.

Understand the Requirements

The medical marijuana laws differ widely from country to country and state to state. Understand the legal requirements of medical marijuana where you live. Make sure your medical condition is covered under state law  before you see your doctor for medical marijuana. Bring copies of the laws and paperwork.

Be Straightforward

When talking to your doctor about medical marijuana, remember that it’s your health you’re discussing. And you have a right to suggest treatment options that you believe will help you manage your illness. There is absolutely nothing wrong—or illegal—about discussing medical cannabis with your physician. So be straightforward.

Be Resourceful

Your doctor might not know all that he needs to know about medicinal cannabis, so he might be hesitant to prescribe it when you bring it up. Check for clinical studies and evidence-based research results online that supports your argument for trying this treatment option. When talking to your doctor about medical marijuana, it can be beneficial to share your research not only to show your commitment to having an informed discussion that helps you take control of your own health but also to offer studies to back up your request and help put your doctor at ease of prescribing it.

Be Honest

Be honest when talking to your doctor about medical marijuana. If you’ve tried it before and it’s helped you suppress symptoms and manage your illness, share these experiences. Also be honest regarding how you feel about the other medications you’ve tried in the past—let him know what’s worked and what hasn’t, as well as why you think medical cannabis might be a better option for you.

Ask for a Referral

Talking to your doctor about medical marijuana might not lead to a prescription being written out in your name. Your physician might be against the idea for several reasons, such as lack of knowledge about risk factors and proper dosage or a fear of getting in trouble. If this is the case, be firm about your interest in medical cannabis and ask for a referral to a doctor who will prescribe it.

Seek out a Medical Marijuana Doctor

Finally, if you’ve tried talking to your doctor about medical marijuana and haven’t gotten anywhere with the discussion, then it might be time to give up and find a medical marijuana doctor who will help you. Some doctors   just do not want to play the role of medical marijuana gatekeeper, but there are a number of specialty clinics and physicians who are available for consultation. Bring your medical records of diagnosis and past treatment with you because the specialist will have to learn more about your illness in order to prescribe medicinal cannabis to you.

Talking to your doctor about medical marijuana can seem intimidating. It’s not always easy to convince a physician that medicinal cannabis is the best treatment course. The best way to approach the situation is by coming from a position of knowledge and being honest and straightforward. If your doctor will not prescribe medicinal cannabis to you, then ask for a recommendation or seek out a medical marijuana physician.

Topics: Medical Marijuana

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