How Medical Marijuana Evaluations Typically Work: Evaluating a Patient for Medical Marijuana
In 2017, marijuana has been a real hot topic. From the fact that its use as medical therapy is now widely accepted, to questions of legalization and the grey lines that medical marijuana dispensaries walk in terms of legality, cannabis is definitely an issue on everybody’s mind. However, the process of being able to buy medical cannabis is still largely misunderstood. Below, we will profile what conditions can be treated with medical marijuana, as well as three ways to get evaluated to be able to legally purchase pot.
Medical marijuana can treat a variety of both physical and mental illnesses that even in the medical realm often have no other treatments. It can also treat these ailments without risk of becoming addicted (like the risk often associated with pain killers) and while providing damage control (when used to control pain and nausea and promote appetite in chemo therapy patients, medical marijuana can also help reduce the damage that chemo does to the cells). Below, we profile some of the conditions that medical marijuana can successfully treat.
What Can It Treat?
- Pain: Medical marijuana has been shown to be an extremely effective pain reliever. For people with chronic conditions, medical marijuana can indeed be considered a magic bullet because it can relieve pain without negative side effects or risk of addiction. It is also way easier on your body than traditional pain medication.
- Nausea: People often smoke marijuana recreationally to relieve a hangover. Not only can marijuana help you sleep but it also controls nausea and allows the hangover sufferer to sleep. This effect of the plant can also help people who suffer from chronic illness such as HIV or cancer sufferers. Many times, the disease itself or the treatment can cause unbearable nausea and complete depletion of the appetite. Marijuana can help patients control their nausea and spur their appetite so that they remain strong enough to fight their illness. Not only can this be life saving but it can go a long way for a persons quality of life.
- Seizures: Many recent studies have shown that the CBD in cannabis can help decrease the frequency of seizures by up to 50%. This can help prevent injury and brain damage, as well as significantly improve quality of life.
- Sleep Disorders: Marijuana has been shown to help people who suffer from chronic insomnia to catch some zs. Like pain meds, sleeping pills are a double-edged sword and can result in terrible addiction problems as well as damage your organs with long term use. Cannabis is a safe way to treat sleep disorders.
- Anxiety: Although people often report feeling paranoid when they smoke marijuana, high CBD strains can actually help control anxiety in users.
- PTSD: Medical marijuana has been said to be helpful in treating PTSD in people who have witnessed or lived through awful experiences. PTSD sufferers often have nightmares and haunting flashbacks of events as well as suffering from insomnia and panic attacks. Marijuana can be helpful in treating all of these symptoms.
Who Can Use It?
Any healthy adult is usually safe to consume medical marijuana, with the exception of pregnant women. It can be smoked, eaten, mixed into a tea or even blended into a smoothie! Studies have shown that teens (especially males) that consume medical marijuana are at a higher risk of developing schizophrenia, so be wary in treating medical conditions in teens using medical marijuana.
How Do People Get It?
There are a few different way of going around getting medically evaluated for marijuana.
- Your Family Physician: In 2017, it SHOULD just be this easy. You can get a medical marijuana prescription from your doctor. The problem is however, the doctor’s willingness to prescribe it. Some doctors are old school and simply don’t think of marijuana as a medicine, despite all the evidence. They are still shaped by growing up considering cannabis a “drug”. Others may be nervous about their licensing and mis prescribing cannabis, as it is somewhat of a legal grey area. Finally and most sadly, big pharma doesn’t want people using medical marijuana to treat illnesses, because it means less people buying their products. Your doctor may also be influenced by this industry. Give your doctor the benefit of the doubt and ask for a prescription for medical cannabis. The worst he can say is no. However, he is not your only resource.
- Medical Marijuana Evaluation Centers: These centers are particularly common in the United States. The sole purpose for their existence is to decide whether or not a person can qualify for medical marijuana. These centers are discreet, inexpensive and simply require you to sit down and fill out a medical questionnaire with a doctor.
- Evaluation at the Dispensary: In our opinion, this is the easiest option for getting evaluated for medical cannabis. Most dispensaries employ health care professionals to assess patients on site. The examination is free, requires no appointment and is done on site. Best of all, if you are approved, you can get your medicine right there and then. All you need is a piece of government ID with your birth date on it and, if possible, any prescriptions or other proof that you have a medical condition that could be treated with marijuana.
Marijuana used for medical purposes can have really life changing effects on the users life, and no one should be deprived of it. Although you can get a prescription from your family physician, many doctors may be wary of writing a prescription for medical cannabis, which is in no way reflective of you or your need for this drug. You do have other options including both being assessed at a medical marijuana center or, potentially the easiest option is to be evaluated by health care professionals directly at the dispensary.