All too often patients tell me that cannabis didn’t work for them.  More often than not, though, after talking to them I find that they never used it in a manner that was likely to succeed.  If the medicine had been used properly and didn’t work, or caused adverse effects, I’d be the first to agree that it wasn’t for them.  However, it makes no sense to me to give up if they hadn’t gotten to a regimen that would be expected to work.

What makes me sad and concerned is that despite being supremely available to my patients, by email and by phone, they will often go for months without letting me know they’re having problems.  I only find out when they call to throw in the towel.

The whole point of getting cannabis care is, well, the care!  This means I need to be available to help, but it also means that patients need to avail themselves of the resources; in other words, let me know how it’s going.  

I think there are a range of reasons leading to this lack of communication: patients have become used to conventional medical systems that do not provide easy access to the patient’s doctor; and the cannabis industry prefers that patients dabble with their healthcare under the direction of the budtender because it increases sales. 

Let me give you an example of how this went down and how it could have gone better.  

Ms. Jones (not her real name, of course) came to her appointment in early September.  She was wondering why she should continue to use cannabis and why to maintain our relationship.  Her last dose of cannabis was in July.  However, she noted that she is still not sleeping through the night.  To compound the issue, she has started herself on Melatonin which did not improve her sleep and has caused vivid and disturbing dreams.  

When I asked her why she stopped using cannabis, she stated that it didn’t work.  When I asked how she had actually taken the cannabis, she replied that she had tried 5mg before bed for a few nights sporadically.  When that didn’t result in good sleep, she gave up.   

This would have been the time to contact me.  I was not surprised that this approach failed and there are several “next steps” I would have proposed to achieve a better result. 

Unfortunately, several months later when we had our next scheduled appointment, she wasn’t sure of all the details and we needed to start over.  I recommended that she re-try cannabis with a very specific treatment plan.  I asked her, as always, to follow up with me by email so that we could re-evaluate the progress and adjust the regimen if needed.  

We discussed that this sort of problem is exactly the point of having an ongoing relationship with a physician!

Thankfully many of the barriers to close contact with your physician are being solved with technology, but people’s hesitation to communicate with those docs is taking more time to dispel.  The propaganda from the cannabis industry that aims to get patients to follow their direction isn’t helping.  

The most interesting part of the equation is that 9 times out of 10, when we have a discussion like the one above and the patient actually takes their medicine as I suggest, lo and behold, it works.  I don’t think this should surprise anyone as my recommendations are based on 70+ years of science and almost 10 years of clinical practice in cannabinoid medicine.  In short, it’s not a guessing game.  So I urge you, please, don’t give up.  Shoot me an email and let’s put our heads together to give you the best chance for success.  It usually works. 

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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