Apparently many people are googling for “how to get your marijuana prescription” so I’ll address this here.  However, I think it’s sort of the wrong question.  At a time when most Americans have access to cannabis by one means or another, what’s the value of a cannabis card and the cannabis doctor?  Hence, the right question is:  What do I want from cannabis and from my cannabis doctor?

The answer to these questions may not be obvious, but the answer is important so that you get what you need.  Let’s explore. 

How Do You Get Cannabis?

In many ways, it doesn’t matter.  For the most part, cannabis is cannabis.  The appellation “medical” or “recreational” has more to do with the legal systems that make it available than with the products themselves.  

The exception to these statements is illegal-market cannabis which can be contaminated, and hemp-based products that are simply unregulated and unsafe.  Please don’t use products from these two sources.

While it’s true that in most places medical systems allow you to purchase more cannabis and higher-potency products, most people who are using cannabis for medical purposes do not need, and may in fact be harmed, by higher amounts and potency.  It’s a major falsehood of the systems that medical patients need or should use more cannabis or higher dose cannabis products.  Remember that 10mg (regardless of route of administration) is an average dose.  

In fact, I set a limit for all of my patients on how much cannabis the dispensary can sell.  If patients are following my recommendation, they should never encounter this limitation.  Dispensaries know that the more they can sell you, the more you’ll use, which can lead to problems like tolerance, dependence, and addiction.  Of course, these problems are their gain, and they know it.  

In Massachusetts, the major advantage of using the medical system is that I, as the clinician, get feedback on what the patient is purchasing.  This helps me start the conversation at subsequent visits about what they’re using and how much.  With this information, I’m better able to help keep my patients on the right track and avoid many of the risks associated with cannabis use.  

How Do You Get Care (and Avoid Risk)?

This, to me, is the most important question.  Just like there are many places you can get cannabis now, there are many places you can get the medical card and a marijuana prescription.  There are doctor mills and online portals that will give you a card for cheap in about 10 minutes.  

Yet, why bother?  If the card isn’t getting you much at the store, and the doctor isn’t actually taking care of you, the whole thing seems like a waste of time and money.

Doctors should be taking care of you.  Illness is complex, people are complex, and medicines, including cannabis, have risk.  I would contend that if you’re an occasional pot smoker, then the recreational system is fine for you.  If, on the other hand, you’re trying to treat any form of illness, even “simple” stuff like insomnia, you deserve the care and guidance of a doctor who knows what s/he’s doing.  

Before anyone stands up and says, “doctors don’t know what they’re doing,” please sit down!  This is just intellectually dishonest propaganda aimed at discrediting the people who have dedicated their lives to caring for people and to knowing as much as humanly possible about what they’re doing.  While many doctors feel like they don’t know much about cannabis, in fact, they know more about human disease and treatment than anyone else on the planet.  

Furthermore, since doctors are generally smart and caring, when they reach the limit of their knowledge they refer.  This is where doctors like me come in, who have specialized knowledge and can be an effective addition to a patient’s care team. 

So, How Do You Get a Marijuana Prescription?

First, start by asking your doctor.  They may be able to prescribe (recommend) it to you.  They also may have valid reasons to advise you that a marijuana prescription is not a good medication for you.  Listen to them.  

If they are not knowledgeable on this topic, they should refer you to someone who is.  If they don’t volunteer to do this, ask them to.  Even if they say they don’t know to whom to refer you, asking reinforces to them that they should know this, and perhaps they’ll find out for next time or the next patient.  

If that doesn’t work, point your doctor and yourself toward the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists.  This is a non-profit aimed educating clinicians and lawmakers that can provide education for your doctor and also can be a source of referrals to trained specialists.

Overall, the take-home message is that you shouldn’t DIY your healthcare, and you should seek (and expect to receive) knowledgeable and caring guidance from your doctors about cannabis medicine, just like you would for any other medications. 

Consult with a Qualified Boston Medical Marijuana Expert Today

Those considering using THC, CBD, or any type of medicine found in cannabis to help manage their condition should consider speaking to a trained medical expert who is knowledgeable about using cannabis therapeutically. Massachusetts medical marijuana doctor Jordan Tishler, M.D. sits on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and has years of experience helping patients treat pain and other ailments using cannabis. He and the team at InhaleMD stand ready to assist patients in determining whether medical marijuana is right for them.

For more information, or to set up a virtual consultation with the team at InhaleMD, call us at (617) 477-8886 today.

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