How to Talk to Your Primary Doctor about Medical Marijuana
There’s more than one way to start the conversation with your doctor about using cannabis therapeutically. Try using these steps to get the conversation started about adding medical marijuana to your treatment plan.
If you’re unsure how to bring up the subject of using medical cannabis with your doctor, try:
a. Talking about someone you know (“a friend”) who is using medical cannabis effectively.
b. Mention a book on the subject that you have recently read, a documentary or news show you’ve watched, or research you’ve discovered on the Internet.
Not all doctors are up-to-date on the latest medical cannabis research. Most physicians have not even been taught about the endocannabinoid system (the neurotransmitter system that cannabis affects for results) or the medicinal value of cannabis (the plant matter) cannabinoids (the molecules).
You shouldn’t assume that your doctor is well versed in current medical cannabis literature. One way to find out their level of knowledge is to ask if he or she has recently attended any continuing education programs or workshops about cannabis. If your doctor would like to speak to another physician who can explain more about medical marijuana, please give your doctor the number for The Healing Clinics, LLC, and we will be happy to have one of our physicians speak with your primary doctor.
Research already shows cannabis increases the appetite and decreases nausea, which is essential for those unable to maintain proper nutrition because they can’t sustain nourishment. Cannabis also lowers intraocular eye pressure in glaucoma patients, relieves peripheral neuropathy pain better than traditional painkillers. It also doesn’t cause unpleasant side effects like narcotic pain medications.
If your condition qualifies you to use medical cannabis in Louisiana and you don’t have any contraindications that make usage risky but your primary care physician still isn’t comfortable including medical cannabis, ask for a referral to another clinician who specializes in therapeutic cannabis.
Download a handy reference card.
Cannabinoids and the Brain (2017) by Linda A. Parker
Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential by Franjo Grotenhermen and Ethan Russo.
Medical Cannabis: What Clinicians Need to Know and Why; Basic Science & Clinical Applications (2016) by Gregory L. Smith.
Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana by Michael Backes (2017).
Groups for Physicians
DOCTORS FOR CANNABIS REGULATION - The first and only national physicians’ association dedicated to the legalization and effective regulation of cannabis for adults. https://dfcr.org/
ASSOCIATION OF CANNABIS SPECIALISTS - Ensures the highest standards in the practice of cannabis medicine. https://www.cannabis-specialists.org/
THE AMERICAN CANNABIS NURSES ASSOCIATION - To advance excellence in cannabis nursing practice through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development. https://cannabisnurses.org/
CLINICAL STUDIES AND CASE REPORTS - Searchable database of diagnosis, author, year, design, and outcomes. https://www.cannabis-med.org/studies/study.php
TREATMENT FOR SPACISITY - Nabiximols had a positive effect on spasticity symptoms in patients with motor neuron disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30554828
STUDY ON NEUROPATHIC PAIN - Cannabis sativa 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and analgesic efficacy in neuropathic pain states. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30312630