There are an estimated 3.6 million medical cannabis patients in the United States. Patients turn to cannabis for all kinds of reasons, including chronic pain, mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, gastrointestinal conditions, and better sleep. Keep reading if you want to learn about how you can talk to your doctor about cannabis.
As of February 2022, 37 states, four territories, and the district of Columbia allow cannabis for medicinal purposes. More states will likely vote for medical cannabis on the midterm ballot this year, possibly giving more Americans a chance to access it.
Are You Eligible For Medical Cannabis?
Determining your eligibility is the first step before talking with your doctor.
First, ensure you live in a state with a medical cannabis program. Some states, like Kansas, don’t have medical cannabis programs, but hemp-derived CBD products are allowed.
Once you’re sure you live in a medically legal state, check the list of qualifying conditions. Common conditions include cancer, PTSD, glaucoma, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, but the exact list will vary from state to state.
Oftentimes, states will include a provision allowing healthcare providers to determine whether or not a patient’s condition would benefit from medical cannabis and allow them to recommend it, even if it’s not explicitly listed as a qualifying condition.
Do Your Research
Next, gather your testimonies and research. Have you tried cannabis with success for your chronic condition in the past? Let your doctor know that.
There are plenty of studies pointing to cannabis’ potential benefit for various chronic conditions. Using a website like PubMed gives you access to tens of thousands of free studies, including those exploring medical cannabis.
Reading through even one study about your condition and bringing it to your physician will show them you are serious about maintaining your health and wellness.
Just remember, these studies don’t prove cannabis cures or treats any diseases, nor does it prove cannabis is the right choice for you. It’s a complementary piece of evidence your doctor can use to make their decision.
Talking With Your Doctor About Medical Cannabis
Keep in mind that your physician might not breach the subject of medical cannabis with you. You as the patient have the freedom to ask your doctor anything, so don’t feel uncomfortable being the first to bring it up.
Your doctor might not feel comfortable with the idea of medical cannabis, and that’s okay as long as they aren’t shaming you for being interested in it. However, a recent survey in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 76% of doctors worldwide support medical cannabis.
The same survey found that 75% of North America-based physicians would recommend medical cannabis to their patients. More and more physicians are getting on board with medical cannabis as an alternative or complement to conventional medicine.
Find a Cannabis-Educated Physician
The idea of talking with your established healthcare provider about medical cannabis can be intimidating. They might not have the educational resources you need to make an informed decision, especially in newly-legalized states.
Heally partners with cannabis-educated healthcare providers in all legal states who can recommend medical cannabis in person or through a telehealth appointment.
Providers are up to date with the latest cannabis research and can help you determine whether or not cannabis is suitable for your medical condition. They will also help you to choose your product and the dosage you need.
To chat with one of cannabis physicians, fill out our online forms. A member of our team will be in touch with you soon to help you schedule your first appointment.