The widespread acceptance of cannabis legally and socially is changing lives worldwide. These changes come with confusion in the U.S., where the legalities are still a little less than black-or-white.
If you’re on the fence about trying marijuana, part of that concern is likely whether it’s truly legal or not. Chances are, as long as you’re not on federal ground and you have a medical marijuana license, you’re safe, but the rules vary by state. Make sure you’ve covered all your legal bases before trying weed.
Yet, another concern should be your health and safety. As with any medicinal herb or prescription, you shouldn’t assume it’s harmless. There could be genetic reasons, medications, or complications you have that marijuana interferes with.
Not only can your doctor help you get MMJ through legal avenues, but they could also save your life with their expert knowledge. Here are four of the most important reasons you should reach out to your physician before trying marijuana.
1. Marijuana Can Interfere With Medications
When your doctor is aware that you plan on using marijuana to help with a problem, they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly. Although many of us expect there to be a stigma against cannabis, the reality is that physicians often prefer it.
MMJ is an effective and safer alternative to prescription opioids and can be used to reduce dependency on other addictive and dangerous medications.
Knowing that you’re using marijuana guides your physician as they treat you over time. In some states, medical marijuana is supposed to help you wean off controlled substances.
Even if you’re not on a controlled medication, you could be using meds that cannabis interferes with. Your doctor understands the potential complications best and can adjust your plan of treatment as necessary.
2. Your Doctor Can Help You Get Legal Weed
Are you worried that your state’s ‘recreational laws’ might not actually mean you can buy and use weed — you know — recreationally? You could be right. The laws don’t just vary by state; they also can change based on the county’s ordinances.
Your best bet is to get a medical marijuana license to be safe. With an MMJ card, you can purchase your product from a licensed dispensary. They’ll teach you everything you need to know about your options. You can learn what you don’t know and don’t want to ask, such as what in the world are kief and hash, from sites like Veriheal.
It’s easier to get an MMJ card than you think. There are dozens of qualifying diagnoses, from depression and anxiety to chronic pain and Crohn’s Disease. Talk to a doctor and be open with them about your medical history. They’ll let you know if medical marijuana is a likely path for you.
3. You’re Supposed to Tell Your Doctor
There’s something called ‘full transparency’ that is a part of the patient-doctor relationship. If they don’t tell you all the side effects and what to reasonably expect from a treatment they recommend, you would be upset. But, if you didn’t share all of your history and current substance use, they wouldn’t be able to accurately predict the new treatment’s outcome.
Full transparency is important on both sides. If you want your doctor to produce a treatment plan for you that is safe and effective, you must share all the details that could impact it with them. This includes your marijuana habits.
4. Marijuana Can Have Long-Term Side Effects
Weed is currently the most widely-used illicit drug in the world. As legislation continues to fight to make marijuana legal, studies show the long-term side effects of using cannabis consistently.
Some acute and chronic health problems include diminished coordination and performance, increased anxiety and suicidal tendencies or ideations, and psychotic episodes.
Frequent and long-term use of cannabis is linked to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, neurocognitive impairments, and other conditions.
These side effects don’t mean you shouldn’t use cannabis. There are long-term dangers to nearly anything you take, including aspirin and ibuprofen, yet the medication is beneficial and effective. You need to inform your doctor about anything you are taking, including weed, and monitor the long-term effects.
Whatever your reasons are for considering marijuana, they’re valid and important to you. However, you don’t have to worry about using weed illegally or unsafely if you take the step and reach out to your doctor.
Medical supervision and support can increase the chance of a successful experience with weed. Your safety and future are on the line, but all you need to do to keep them secure is to contact an MMJ doctor.