Talking To Your GP About Cannabis Use
Are you afraid of talking to your doctor about your cannabis usage? You’re not alone. Talking about cannabis usage is a difficult and daunting thing to do. Not everyone is comfortable talking to their doctor about using a substance many still consider a little taboo, especially if you’re using recreationally in a state where it isn't legal to do so. But you shouldn’t lie to your doctor, because you are ashamed, embarrassed or fear judgement.
There 200 million American living 29 states that have a medical cannabis program, meaning over half the country has some form of access to legal cannabis. You won’t be the first or the last person to fess up to your doctor about using marijuana; we guarantee they’ve heard it before and it’s not going to be a big deal. In fact, there's a good chance they already support responsible usage for certain medical conditions. Here, we've listed some tips for talking to your doctor openly and honestly about using cannabis.
Honesty’s Still the Best Policy
The best tip for you to follow when talking to your doctor about cannabis is to be completely honest. It is not illegal to tell your doctor that you smoke or take edibles but it is illegal for your doctor to go telling other people. They are required by law to keep that information 100% confidential. Ultimately, your doctor is there to help you, and it’s helpful for them to know what sort of lifestyle you lead and what you put into your body. And if you’re still hesitant to be honest, think of it this way: your being open about using cannabis with your doctor normalizes it just a little bit more. You might lead them to take a more open mind, and perhaps think twice about writing another script for an opioid prescription.
When talking to your doctor, gather as much information as possible about your cannabis usage habits: what strains you use, the average THC/CBD percentage, how you ingest, how often, and how it helps you. Also, let them know how it helps you: does it quell your anxiety or depression? Nullify problem headaches? Maybe you use it after workouts to soothe inflammation? All that information is useful to your doctor, so have it written down.
Ask Questions, Get Answers
Your doctor is there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you might have. The more questions you ask and the more details you share, the closer you get to a great treatment plan. Some of the questions that you can ask includes:
- What’s the best way for me to consume cannabis?
- Will this interact with any prescriptions I might be taking?
- Can you give me any dosage or scheduling recommendations?
- Where can I find unbiased, fact-based information for future reference?
Having an honest about cannabis use is important because it is directly related to your health and body. Moreover, the doctor will let you know if there are any adverse effects of cannabis usage with other medications. Unless your doctor has a major anti-cannabis bias, they’re more knowledgeable on this subject than you are, whether you like it or not. They’ve read and understood the health studies and they are aware of the latest recommendations and cautions.With transparency, they can create an accurate plan of treatment for you if need be.
Ultimately, the conversation you’ll have with your doctor will come down to the type of relationship you’ve established. It’s your body and your choice to consume cannabis, but go about it safely, and start by letting your doctor know that you use it. If you get a negative reaction or feel you're being unfairly judged, you can find someone else.