While awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis is growing, there is still a stigma around cannabis use due to its reputation as a recreational drug. While medical cannabis has a long history in California (as compared to other states), some people still have issues bringing up their cannabis use to their medical professional. While telling a doctor about cannabis use can be intimidating, the risks of not doing so are even greater.
Telling Your Doctor About Cannabis Use
The most common factor involved in withholding information about cannabis use from a doctor is fear of legal or professional repercussions. Even in California, some patients feel as though doctors will alert authorities or create a public record of an admission of cannabis use. But this could not be further from the truth.
While a doctor divulging personal information may seem like a nightmare, doctors are bound to confidentiality and have the express goal of meeting the health needs of a patient. Therefore, the best option is to provide your doctor with detailed information about your cannabis intake, especially if you have other prescriptions or experiencing symptoms that may be helped or exacerbated by cannabis use.
In order to prescribe the right medication or treatment, doctors must know about any drug or supplement use a patient engages in. In fact, an emerging debate within the medical community centers around the necessity of asking patients about cannabis use, as this is standard procedure for obtaining information about alcohol intake and other narcotics a patient uses.
Doctors require information about cannabis intake because it has the potential to interfere with prescriptions a patient may need. While cannabis may be safe in most circumstances, when mixed with pharmaceuticals, the result can be incapacitating side effects that are best avoided.
Things to Keep In Mind When Talking to Your Doctor
One aspect of telling a doctor about cannabis use that most patients do not understand is that medical professionals are increasingly more familiar with cannabis and its effects. With legalization rolling across the country, the medical field is awash with new information about cannabis and its impacts on health. In fact, many doctors are interested in learning about cannabis and eager to provide patients with insight into their cannabis intake.
When talking to your doctor regarding cannabis, you should have some specific information handy. In particular, doctors typically want to know your preferred type of cannabis, the way you use it, and how often you are using cannabis. This information may seem tedious or irrelevant, but all of it is used by physicians to make determinations about what medication is right for your individual situation.
Finally, take the opportunity to ask questions about your cannabis intake. While not every doctor will be comfortable with discussing cannabis use, there is no downside to asking. Your doctor may be able to provide you with valuable knowledge about cannabis and its relationship to your specific medical needs.
Being open with your care providers can help ensure that any treatment is in line with your current lifestyle and goals. Don’t feel like you ever have to hide your cannabis use!
At ECO Cannabis, we feel that cannabis can be an integral part of your wellness routine. Stop by to learn more!