You are probably familiar with the healing properties of medical cannabis (also known as marijuana). It can help with chronic pain and inflammation, restore your appetite, help you sleep better and more. However, you may have wondered whether the time and effort to get a medical cannabis recommendation is worthwhile.
Are there advantages to self-medicating? Is getting a medical cannabis recommendation worth the effort? Let’s take a closer look.
Advantages of Self-Medicating
Self-medicating is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach to medical cannabis. Just like DIY home improvements, it requires background information, research and an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of the approach.
Some people turn to self-medication keep their costs lower. When self-medicating, you do not need to pay to see a physician, which could save money in the short term. However, given the wide array of products available, it could take more trial and error to find the right medicine without a physician’s guidance, and the costs could add up.
Self-medication is also flexible, allowing people to try different strains or delivery methods without going through a medical professional or joining a registry. A considerable drawback, however, is that self-medicating requires a fair amount of research and experimentation to find the right medicine, dosage and delivery method for your medical needs. Further, you may not be aware of medication interactions and side effects, which could prevent self-prescribed treatments from working as expected.
Note that self-medication is only legal in some states, and is not currently legal in Florida (you can check the laws for your state here). However, even those living in states with adult use policies can benefit from getting a doctor’s recommendation before using marijuana.
Advantages of Getting a Medical Cannabis Recommendation
In Florida, medical cannabis professionals write referrals or recommendations rather than prescriptions, but they work the same way: they authorize you to purchase certain cannabis strains and dosages. While it takes time and effort to obtain a medical cannabis referral, many patients find it to be worthwhile. The advantages of obtaining a referral include:
- Quality controls. When you obtain medical cannabis with a referral, you purchase your product through state-approved vendors. This means that the dispensaries have been approved by the state and can only sell state-approved products, ensuring that the medicine you purchase is high quality.
- Knowing what medicine you need. A medical cannabis physician will review your medical history and current prescriptions. They will prescribe a medical marijuana strain that will meet your medical needs and a delivery method that suits your lifestyle. Further, licensed physicians know what strains will work well for your needs and which to avoid; your recommended dosage will likely serve its purpose right away, removing the trial and error of self-medication.
- Knowing how much you need. You will still need to take some time to find the right dose for your needs. Instead of figuring it out on your own, though, you will have the guidance of a doctor to know how much to start with and how quickly to increase your dose.
Even if you have been self-medicating, it can be helpful to visit a knowledgeable doctor to get a professional recommendation. This way, you know that if your needs change, you have a doctor who knows you and your history.
What to Expect at Your Medical Cannabis Appointment
The first step to obtaining a medical cannabis recommendation is making an appointment with an experienced physician. Although every physician has a unique approach, in general, they should take the time to get to know you and your medical history. To learn more about what to expect at your first appointment, visit our website.