For those that live with chronic pain, finding a treatment or therapy that actually provides some relief can become a driving force in life. Many pain medications have unwelcome side effects, ranging from fatigue to addiction and severe medical repercussions. Medical cannabis provides a promising alternative pain treatment for many sufferers. The following can help you broach the subject of cannabis for pain management with your doctor or medical provider.
Tip #1: Research the options
Before approaching your doctor, educate yourself on the options so you can self-advocate for what would be best for you. Your doctor may take you more seriously if you have done your research. Medical cannabis comes in three main forms: CBD, THC, or a mixture of the two. CBD alone has no psychoactive effects and it has limited uses as a minor pain reliever, and it can often be found in topical medications. THC products have psychoactive effects dependent on the amount present. A combination product of THC and CBD is often required for major pain treatment, although the amount of THC necessary varies by patient.
Going further, when it comes to THC you need to weight whether you need a sativa, indica, or hybrid strain. Sativa causes less drowsiness and can increase energy, while indica strains are more likely to induce some drowsiness or "laziness," but they can help treat anxiety as related to pain management. For many, a hybrid of the two is best.
Tip #2: Be educated on usage options
Although more and more doctors are becoming well versed on medical cannabis, there are still sometimes misconceptions in the medical community. Before approaching your doctor, research the different forms cannabis products come in, particularly those that are recommended for your condition. Many doctors, for example, may shy from prescribing cannabis simply because they are worried about the health effects of smoking or vaping it. If you can show that alternative delivery methods, such as edibles or sublingual drops, have shown effective for your condition, your doctor may be more likely to fill out the paperwork.
Tip #3: Be open to suggestions
In the end, your doctor is a medical professional and you should respect their opinion. Do this by asking serious questions, including whether there could be interactions between cannabis and your other medications or advice on doing your own further research on the subject. If your doctor senses that you are serious about using cannabis medically, and aren't simply trying to get their signature so you can enjoy cannabis recreationally, they may be more likely to consider your request. Of course, if your doctor seems closed off to the option, it may be time to seek a second opinion.
For more help, contact a medical cannabis provider such as Sacred Garden San Mateo in your area.