What Does A Medical Cannabis Doctor Do? – LIFESTYLE BY PS

What Does A Medical Cannabis Doctor Do?


Medical cannabis is gaining ground as a prescription medication. More states are now starting to pass laws legalizing the use of medical cannabis. Evidence shows that medical cannabis has many health benefits. One of the reasons for its growing popularity is that it helps alleviate pain in some conditions ranging from a simple headache to long-term conditions like glaucoma or nerve pain.

However, medical doctors are not able to prescribe medical cannabis in the same way as traditional over-the-counter medications. Medical marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug not usually prescribed by doctors. In order to use it, you would need a recommendation from a medical cannabis doctor. 

The Role of a Medical Cannabis Doctor 

A medical cannabis doctor is responsible for recommending the use of the drug for treating a wide range of conditions, which could include the following:

  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy 
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Irritable bowel disease 
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting 
  • Chronic pain

Treating these conditions using medical marijuana requires the recommendation of medical cannabis doctors. Once patients have secured the recommendation, people can purchase it from a medical marijuana dispensary nearby.

The recommendation of the physician will also come in handy for applying for a medical marijuana card, which can make the patient a registered medical cannabis user in their state.

It is worth noting that doctors will not just recommend the use of medical marijuana. Each state has its own list of qualified medical conditions. In some states, for example, using medical cannabis is allowed for common issues like insomnia, while in others, it is only allowed for severe conditions like cancer or AIDS.

Generally, medical cannabis doctors will assess whether your medical condition qualifies for medical cannabis conditions. In addition, medical cannabis doctors are authorized to talk to patients about medical cannabis if they think they have a good option for them.

However, not all patients are qualified to receive medical cannabis treatment. For example, pregnant women may need to consult a doctor before using it, and people with schizophrenia should only use cannabis under the supervision of a psychiatrist.

Provides Documentation to Allow Purchasing of Medical Cannabis

Your healthcare provider can help with prescribing FDA-approved cannabis medications like Epidiolex or Cesamet. Medical cannabis doctors can help with the documentation so that you can purchase medical cannabis at a dispensary. Additionally, the doctor will work with a pharmacist to help you choose the right medical cannabis for your health condition.

Medical Cannabis Doctors help dispensary staff identify the best option for the kind of result you are seeking. Sometimes, medical cannabis can have side effects when it interacts with prescription medications. Cannabis doctors will advise you on how to safely get started with using medical cannabis.  

Additionally, medical cannabis doctors have a background in integrative or holistic medicine. For this reason, these doctors have a better understanding of medical cannabis and its effects on a patient.

There are different forms of medical cannabis, and these doctors can recommend the best ratio of THC to CBD as well as recommended dosage and method of administration. Unlike prescription medicines, medical marijuana is not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration.

There are cases when your doctor will not be comfortable recommending medical cannabis. If this is the case, you can ask them for a referral to another doctor. Another way is to search online resources such as the Medical Marijuana Association. Make sure to look for doctors with vast knowledge of the medical cannabis industry. 

Advice Before Taking Medical Cannabis 

Your doctor will inform you of the best way to use medical cannabis to treat your medical conditions safely. As it can react with other drugs you are taking, your doctor might consider adjusting the dosage of medical cannabis. Aside from that, medical cannabis can also have adverse effects on your body.

Your doctor will probably advise you to start with a low dosage. Usually, the upper limit is 20 - 40 mg daily for THC and 50 - 100 mg for CBD. You will not get any benefit from taking a higher dosage. Consult your doctor on whether or not to increase the dosage and what to do if side effects appear. 

Why Is A Medical Cannabis Doctor Important? 

While medical cannabis offers various health benefits, it can also have potential side effects. This drug can disrupt the metabolism of some drugs and can affect their effectiveness. Consulting a medical cannabis doctor if you plan to use it for treatment is very important for the following reasons:

  1. Medical cannabis doctors can customize a treatment plan that is right for you.
  2. Medical cannabis doctors can evaluate whether it is safe to combine medical cannabis with other prescription medicines you might be taking.

Although medical cannabis is already legal in most states, some doctors are still not allowed to prescribe it. What they can do is make a recommendation or certify the appropriateness of medical cannabis in the treatment of your medical condition. As mentioned, there are physicians who are not comfortable certifying your condition. 

Why Should You Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card?  

A medical cannabis doctor can be instrumental in securing a medical cannabis card. Having one offers a wide range of benefits:

  1. Reduced Costs. With a medical cannabis card, you can get tax exemptions on cannabis products. You can also use the card to file for a worker’s compensation claim or reimburse health savings accounts.
  1. Larger Purchase Limits. Using your medical cannabis card entitles you to increased cannabis purchase limits. This will vary from one state to another.
  1. Lower Age Restrictions. A medical cannabis card allows patients who are below 21 years old to have access to the drug. 
  1. Clinical Oversight. Most states require consulting healthcare providers before cannabis use is allowed. There are also states requiring dispensaries to employ pharmacists who will help patients search for the right products suited to their needs. 

Consult Medical Cannabis Doctors For Your Safety 

Just because medical cannabis is already legal in most states does not mean it is safe to use. These drugs are not created equal. It may work for one patient but will have side effects with another. However, it is still best to seek the advice of a medical cannabis doctor if you plan to use it for treating your medical condition.

References: 

https://patient.practicalpainmanagement.com/treatments/marijuana-cannabis/how-talk-your-physician-about-medical-cannabis-10-points-guide

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/medical-marijuana-uses

https://www.goodrx.com/classes/cannabinoids/can-doctors-prescribe-medical-marijuana

https://www.leafly.com/news/health/how-to-find-a-medical-marijuana-doctor

https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/cannabis/docs/patients/patientinfosheet.pdf



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