Working professionals are often concerned about the side effects of medical marijuana use, such as failed drug tests or unintentional impairment as a result of treatment. Professionals who meet the criteria for Florida medical marijuana conditions can use medical marijuana without it having a negative impact on their job performance. To minimize side effects, professionals should work closely with an experienced medical marijuana doctor. You’ll also want to consider your employer’s policies on medical marijuana use.
Medical Marijuana Options for Professionals
To make an informed decision about medical marijuana, working professionals should have an understanding of how medical marijuana functions in the human body. Here are a few essential facts:
- Marijuana has two main chemicals: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
- THC is the chemical that causes psychoactive side effects, also known as a high. This does not mean that THC should be avoided, though, as it also has health benefits such as alleviating pain and reducing inflammation. Although more research needs to be done, there is some evidence that THC and CBD work best in combination, since that is how they are found in nature.
- CBD does not have any psychoactive side effects. It does have a calming effect for many patients, leaving them feeling less anxious. It also helps to reduce pain and may counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC.
To find out if medical marijuana is an option, patients should begin by making an appointment with a professional medical cannabis physician. This physician will review your information and determine whether you have one of the Florida medical marijuana conditions.
Minimizing Medical Marijuana Side Effects While Working
Professionals should be open when discussing concerns about work and medical marijuana with a qualified medical doctor. They will keep these concerns in mind when making recommendations about the appropriate THC:CBD ratio and delivery methods. To minimize potential side effects while working, recommendations may include:
- Take medical marijuana dosage before bed: Patients using medical marijuana with higher THC may want to use it before bed or on days when they are not working.
- Stick to low-THC/high-CBD treatments before working: For assistance with symptoms that occur during the work day, patients may want to use high CBD medical marijuana varieties that minimize any potential psychoactive side effects.
- Start with a low dose: Patients who are new to medical marijuana should start with a low dose and keep careful track of their symptom relief and side effects. Follow your doctor’s recommendation for increasing their dose and reach out to their provider with any concerns.
- Consider an external delivery method before working: Common delivery methods for medical marijuana include external options such as lotions and patches. These are especially effective for treating location-specific pain but may not be as helpful for more generalized symptoms such as nausea or anxiety. For these symptoms, common delivery methods include vaping and tinctures. Vaping involves heating the cannabis and inhaling it, but it does not have the side effects associated with smoking. Tinctures are liquids that are placed under the tongue using a dropper.
Patients who are concerned about staying alert during the day should work with a medical cannabis doctor who has a thorough understanding of marijuana’s impact on brain function, such as Dr. Daniel P. Stein at Neurology of Cannabis.
Medical Marijuana and Employers
Professionals should give careful consideration to their workplace’s policies around medical marijuana. Some workplaces require a urine test, and medical marijuana will show up on those drug screens. The impact of having a positive marijuana drug test depends on the individual employer, as Florida does not currently require employers to make accommodations for medical marijuana treatment.
Professionals who are comfortable discussing their potential medical marijuana use with employers can consider the following options:
- Work with your employer to create an acknowledgment form for medical marijuana users. Note: Provide an example to make the process less intimidating/foreign. Educating your employer about the efficacy of medical marijuana and your true need for it can go a long way to getting you the accommodations you need for medical marijuana usage.
- Provide employers with documentation of your medical marijuana recommendation and information from your medical marijuana doctor.
- Ask your employer to coordinate with doctors or occupational health specialists to determine whether there will be any impact on job performance or job safety.
- Speak with your employer about reconsidering their policies around medical marijuana, given that it is legal in Florida. Some employers may be open to a change if they see that it helps their employees and will not impact workplace safety.
Working professionals who are concerned about potential legal repercussions from their employer should discuss these concerns with their medical marijuana doctor.
Medical Marijuana Recommendations for Professionals
To ensure their medical marijuana use will not have a negative impact on their work, many Sarasota-area professionals are visiting Dr. Stein at Neurology of Cannabis. Dr. Stein has more than 25 years of medical practice experience specializing in neurology. Given medical marijuana’s potential impact on brain function, seeing a doctor with an in-depth understanding of this area allows professionals to obtain the symptom relief they need while still being able to work effectively.
Neurology of Cannabis offers professional, compassionate care with the patient’s goal in mind. Dr. Stein and his staff take the time to truly understand each patient’s needs. You can find the symptom relief you need without compromising your ability to work. Contact Neurology of Cannabis today to make an appointment.