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Talking to Your Doctor about Medical Cannabis
California’s Compassionate Use Act was a historic act that enabled doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients in California. California’s Health and Safety Code lists eight qualifying medical conditions for which medical cannabis can be recommended: cancer, AIDS, anorexia, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, migraine, and arthritis. Research indicates that cannabis can alleviate symptoms such as nausea and chronic pain associated with various medical conditions and/or their treatment. It is also helpful in alleviating other symptoms such as anxiety, PTSD, seizures, digestive ailments, and more. In addition to the listed medical conditions, doctors have some leeway in their recommendations.
According to the guidelines set forth by the Medical Board of California, doctors may base their recommendations on clinical trials, reports, medical literature, their own experience or the experience of other doctors, or on credible patient reports. They must be able to determine that the risk-to-benefit is as good or better than conventional treatments. It is not necessary to have failed at conventional treatments in order to be a candidate for medical cannabis. Recommending medical cannabis is at the doctor’s professional discretion.
With this background in mind, if you have one of the eight qualifying conditions or are suffering from other chronic conditions for which cannabis can bring relief (such as anxiety, epilepsy, gastrointestinal ailments, nausea, lack of appetite, or PTSD), initiating a conversation about medical cannabis with your doctor might be the next step in your journey toward wellness.
There’s a chance your doctor might not be as educated in medical cannabis as you had hoped, so take the time to educate yourself first. Read some of the research and studies relevant to your condition and bring copies with you to your doctor’s appointment. Tikun Olam, the most trusted name in cannabis, has participated in numerous studies, conducted its own, and is an established leader in the medical cannabis industry. A wealth of information is available on its website including research studies and information about Tikun Olam’s proprietary strains and what conditions they are used for.
Arriving well-prepared demonstrates to the doctor that you’re taking an active role in your health and wellness — something doctors do appreciate in their patients. Prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor as well. For example, you might have questions about potential side effects, expected outcomes, or interactions with other medications. Perhaps using medical cannabis could mean tapering off of other medications. You could also ask about the best mix of THC vs CBD for your condition or the best way to consume medical cannabis.
You don’t need a prescription for medical cannabis in California, but you do need a doctor’s recommendation. It all begins with a conversation, and that conversation should be based on knowledge. Learn more about the benefits of medical cannabis for your condition at Tikun Olam California.