Have you had a negative experience telling a doctor that you use cannabis? Did a doctor's stance on cannabis affect the level of your treatment or perhaps even make you feel like a drug addict? You aren't alone. If you're interested in speaking to your GP about cannabis, we've put together a helpful guide. Most physicians aren't trained to address the medical uses of cannabis. Keep in mind, consulting a cannabis specialist clinic who can address dosing, preparations, and cannabis composition will be more beneficial than doctor visits alone.
Only around 9% of medical schools even mention cannabis as medicine. And in fact, medical professionals have been taught up until recently that cannabis is a very dangerous and addictive substance.
GPs are in charge of providing patient care in the NHS and are under pressure to see more patients in a shorter amount of time. They're required to stay current on new medical research in addition to caring for the thousands of patients at their practise.
Many general practitioners are still novices in the field of medical cannabis and its potential use in the treatment of ailments including fibromyalgia, arthritis, neuropathic pain, and chronic pain. Even the fundamentals, such the endocannabinoid system and its significance in regulating hunger, mood, and pain perception, are still not covered in medical school.
Uncertainty about how to discuss medical cannabis with their primary care physician before seeing a specialist is a significant problem that patients who contact us, or their families or caregivers, face. In this article, we'll look at the benefits of seeing your doctor before choosing a course of therapy as well as coping mechanisms for what might be a challenging discussion.
It's conceivable that you will know more about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system than your doctor when you see him or her since this field of medicine is so recent in the UK. Even if it seems like this is the case, it is still crucial to consult your doctor before choosing a course of treatment. This is so that medical cannabis can be prescribed safely and the precise course of treatment chosen takes into account your complete medical history, any current or past illnesses, your family history, and any medications you may have taken in the past. The ideal person to provide you this information, which may subsequently be given to your treating expert, is your general practitioner.
Unfortunately, there are still barriers within the medical community that prevent doctors from treating their cannabis-using patients accurately and fairly. These barriers include an ongoing stigma, a lack of knowledge about recent cannabis research, and uncertainty about whether discussing cannabis with patients is legal.
Cannabis users, whether they use it for medicinal purposes or not, and the rest of the globe share the need for access to healthcare. So what should a cannabis user do?
RELATED ARTICLE: GUIDE -How To Access Medical Cannabis In The UK
Be Open-Minded (and Prepare for a Negative Response)
When discussing their use of medicinal cannabis with a doctor, both adult users and patients should be aware that they may encounter bias, ignorance, or both.
Unfortunately, few medical professionals are familiar with the endocannabinoid system or cannabis as a therapy (ECS).
Here are some tips to consider if you're having trouble approaching your GP about medical cannabis:
Before seeing your doctor, you may already be experimenting with cannabis so you may already know which strain, extract, or even particular cannabinoid is ideal for you in this situation. If not, it's important to consider your choices. THC has a psychoactive impact that may uplift the soul, calm the body, and improve mood. It undoubtedly helps a lot of individuals in getting out of bed in the morning and beginning their day with a good outlook.
Although CBD doesn't give consumers a euphoric high, it does have a lucid and clear-headed impact that lets them continue to be completely engaged and productive. In order to meet certain demands, several extracts are also available that have different ratios of the two cannabinoids.
Find Out What Your GP Thinks About Cannabis
We advise medical patients to inquire about their views on the use of cannabis as medicine from their GP if they can find a suitable opportunity to do so.
I advise patients who are hesitant to discuss UK medical cannabis usage with their doctor to start by asking, "What do you think about the use of Medical Cannabis for... (insert condition)?" In this approach, you may gauge the doctor's opinion on cannabis while without disclosing information that you may not be ready to reveal.
Prior to your visit, make a list of questions to ensure that you get all the information you need. Bring the list with you to the consultation since it is simple to forget some questions. You may wish to consider the following questions as examples:
Will CBD or cannabis affect how any of my meds work?
• Which CBD or cannabis strain would work best for me?
• How should I ingest cannabis for optimum results?
• Where can I obtain more trustworthy data on cannabis?
Do I need to be mindful of any negative effects?
It is better to be honest. Physicians take patient privacy seriously. Tell them everything, from your reasons for believing cannabis might be helpful to your worries about using it. They will understand your circumstance and do their best to assist you the more openly and honestly you are. Justify your desire in receiving therapy. This can be because you've tried several therapies and nothing has worked, or it might be because you've experienced negative effects. Some people desire to return back to work, have better sleep, or have less pain so they can live better quality of lives. There is a growing body of evidence that supports cannabis as an adjunct therapy that can assist decrease other medicines. This is something that many patients who visit our clinic want to do in order to cut down on or stop using opiate painkillers. Your doctor will probably support this.
It may be tempting to attempt to discredit your doctor's assessment. Yes, taking control of your health by managing your stress, eating well, and using cannabis responsibly may be transformational. Google does not, however, have all the solutions. You need to take your doctor's concerns seriously if they are related to your usage of cannabis or CBD.
Inform them that you want to keep them updated on your treatment and engaged. Your primary care physician's disclosure of your medical history enables the treating specialised doctor to choose a safe, effective course of action. This template recommendation is offered, however your doctor may also submit their own reference if they so want. If a treatment plan has been recommended for you, Cannabis Access Clinics will let your general practitioner know the results of your appointment and any further monitoring required. GPs have a crucial role in the treatment of patients with chronic illnesses or chronic pain, and it's crucial that they be engaged at every stage.
Nevertheless, physicians often make mistakes, particularly when it comes to cannabis. In the most developed nations, the plant has just returned to popular culture, and medical students don't study much about it in class. Follow your instinct and get a second opinion from a different medical specialist if you believe your doctor may have missed anything.
You may keep track of your experiences by journaling. Learn via experience, trial, and error what works best for you. Keep a notebook where you may record your feelings and ideas. Was a certain cannabis kind too potent? Maybe a certain CBD oil recipe didn't quite meet your expectations? You'll learn more the more recordings you make.
Discuss the current research.
Some members of the medical community have criticised the most current NICE Guidelines as being overly conservative and have suggested that further study is required. Working with Applied Cannabis Research, Cannabis Access Clinics is conducting CACOS UK, which will monitor how each patient responds to therapy, if their pain, mood, and quality of life improve, as well as whether they have any negative effects. In the future, this makes sure that treatments are given safely and more successfully.
Let your doctor know that Cannabis Access Clinics conducts free seminars for doctors.
These webinars, which are free for GPs, provide a brief overview of medicinal cannabis, the endocannabinoid system, and the potential benefits of CBMPs in lowering opioid use. The 30-minute webinars are conducted by Dr. Lucy Davey. Your doctor may reach CACllinics via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 020 3998 0115 for further information. If doctors have any questions or concerns, the team at CAClinics team will be available to help them.
Your GP may not be well-versed on weed. Here's why.
Cannabis has made strides in the 21st century as a treatment for a number of ailments. Even though there is increasing evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of cannabis, American doctors are still mostly ignorant about the drug's potential benefits.
Since more people than ever are interested in cannabis as medicine, many people may be surprised to learn that their doctor is unlikely to be familiar with the plant or its medicinal advantages.
The Journal of the American Medicinal Association (JAMA) released an opinion piece by Stanford University School of Medicine resident physician Dr. Nathaniel Morris on June 3, 2019, which detailed the widening knowledge gap about UK medical cannabis between American physicians and their patients. Morris came to the conclusion that most doctors are appallingly uninformed about the biochemical effects, legality, and most recent clinical research related to weed, especially when compared to the ever-expanding pool of American patients who use medical cannabis, based on recent statistical evidence and his anecdotal experience as a doctor.
Among the studies Morris cited were a 2016 survey in which 85% of doctors said they had not been taught about cannabis in medical school and a 2017 study in which 38% of 51 resident doctors admitted they were unaware that cannabis was still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which means that the government believes it to be highly addictive and without any discernible medical benefits.
Cannabis has been shown to be a successful therapy for fibromyalgia, arthritis, cancer, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The endocannabinoid system (ECS), which consists of the body's receptors, lipids, and enzymes that interact with cannabis components to maintain internal balance and control many physiological activities, is often the route to therapy. The idea that many ailments may be caused by cannabinoid deficiency and are thus treated with cannabis is also supported by a wealth of studies.
Cannabis is being studied by more doctors than ever before, and coursework at medical schools throughout the UK is beginning to become more inclusive of cannabis as we go into 2023.
However, doctors and pharmacists are gradually becoming more knowledgeable about cannabis as treatment. The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy found that 64% of respondents from U.S. pharmacy schools said they incorporate medical cannabis in their doctorate of pharmacy curriculum. The research, which was presented in the journal Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning's January 2019 edition, also revealed that 23% of the participants who had not yet included cannabis in their curriculum intended to do so within the next 12 months.
Goldstein advised people interested in using medicinal cannabis to first inquire with their doctors about their opinions on the drug as patients continue to seek information about it. Additionally, Goldstein advised seeking the assistance of a cannabis expert who could provide more detailed guidance on cannabinoids, products, and dosage.
You can be let down if you approach your doctor for medicinal cannabis guidance since, as Goldstein said, "most don't know anything." According to Goldstein, speaking with a cannabis specialist will be more advantageous than seeing a doctor alone until federal regulations and medical education significantly change how they handle medical cannabis.
This is because different cannabinoids, dosing, and preparations can be discussed in detail, increasing your chances of having a positive outcome.
We hope you found this guide useful! Feel free to share it with anyone that may benefit from reading it!
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. We always advise anyone with a medical condition to seek professional help. The information located within this article comes from external sources.