Talking to your doctor about a Missouri Medical Marijuana Card
“Patients have a right to all beneficial treatments and to deny them this right violates their basic human rights.”
This was a conclusion presented by a team of researchers who performed a 2011 literature review of scientific and legal medical marijuana publications over the previous years.
The wording might feel a bit strong, but it’s true that patients have a right to quality healthcare that offers them every available, safe option to choose from when they seek relief from their conditions and symptoms. Including getting a Missouri marijuana card.
Patients who have a condition that qualifies for treatment of their symptoms with cannabis have a right to safe, legal access to natural medicine, and your doctor has a duty to provide you with a path to taking control of your treatment plan.
So why, then, are most of us so afraid to talk to our doctors about “alternative” forms of treatment?
Almost as Bad as Public Speaking: Talking to Your Doctor About Medical Marijuana
Picture this: It’s annual checkup day and you’re prepared to talk to your doctor about medical marijuana. You know that it would help your knee pain because you’ve tried it, and you want to avoid more prescription painkillers. You also know that you qualify for a Missouri marijuana card.
The opportunity finally arrives, and you hear Doc ask if you have any other questions. You shake your head “no,” and then the door closes before you have a chance to change your mind.
If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you are not alone. Most of us are afraid to talk to our doctors about our health-related habits unless it’s to say that we started doing Zumba or stopped eating so many doughnuts.
Why Can’t We Talk to Our Doctors About Cannabis?
Plenty of reasons prevent us from talking to our doctors about what’s really going on in our bodies. Sometimes, we don’t want to hear the inevitable answer that we have a serious illness or that we need to change our lifestyle. Other times, it’s just that doctors are intimidating no matter how wacky their ties or socks are.
Fear of Judgement
Doctors often seem like the most judgmental people on Earth. They tell you when you need to eat less carbs, when you need to get off the couch, and when you need to slow down at work so you don’t have a heart attack.
Healthcare practitioners are spending less and less time with their patients. General practitioners spend between 13 and 28 minutes with their patients, and one in four of them spends less than 12 minutes on an exam. For every patient a health professional sees, there are usually ten more waiting, too.
This means that there is not much time to build a relationship with your doctor. Seeing your doctor may feel less like visiting a partner in your well-being, and more like passing by a QC inspector on an assembly line.
Doctors are Also Awkward During Awkward Conversations … And Talking About Cannabis is Awkward
It may not always seem like it, but doctors are humans too. This means that there are subjects that they feel awkward talking about, and you feeling uncomfortable doesn’t help.
Since cannabis has only recently been back in the healthcare spotlight (it was regularly recommended prior to the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act), your doctor may not understand the benefits of adding medical marijuana to your treatment plan.
Additionally, your doctor may not be able to recommend medical marijuana even if they want to, because they are prohibited by a supervising entity. For example, Veterans Affairs doctors cannot recommend medical marijuana to their patients, but they are required to advise and work with patients who are already using medical marijuana as part of their treatment plan.
Dos and Don’ts of Talking to Your Doctor About Cannabis
DO: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Preparation is usually key to having a successful conversation with your doctor about anything, and especially something they may be unfamiliar with.
DON’T: Be Another Doctor in the Room (Unless of Course You Actually Are)
Doctors don’t generally appreciate it when patients come in flashing their WebMD PhD. You don’t need to impress with your knowledge of the biophysics of cannabis working with your CB1 receptors to reduce your body’s pain response to the arthritis in your knee.
DO: Be an Expert on Who Qualifies For Medical Marijuana and How You Plan to Use It
Be confident that you qualify for medical marijuana before you go to your doctor. If you are unsure, then our staff at Missouri Marijuana Card can help you understand the qualifying conditions and if you are likely to be a candidate for treatment with cannabis. Give us a call at (877) 303-3117 and our staff will be glad to answer your questions.
DON’T Come Without a Written (or Typed into Your Phone) List of Questions and Talking Points
Even if you have rehearsed what you will say to your doctor when the time comes, you might forget when nerves take over. Be ready for your brain to go blank with a list to spark your memory.
DO: Ask For Extra Time in Your Appointment
When you take the weight of a rushed appointment off, you can relax and feel more comfortable and confident with your choices. Make sure you have ample time to discuss your options with your doctor.
DO: Remember That You Have a Right to Quality Healthcare and Natural Relief
Some doctors may be in a tight spot if they work for a medical group that forbids recommending medical marijuana, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to help their patients get the relief they deserve. Other doctors may be flat-out against using medical marijuana to treat conditions because they don’t understand how it works and choose to stick to outdated ways of thinking.
You have a right to treatments that would be beneficial for your symptoms, and medical marijuana is becoming recognized more and more as a legitimate medicine.
Missouri Marijuana Card is Here to Help!
If you are having trouble getting your doctor to understand how cannabis can help you take control of your health, then it might be time to give Missouri Marijuana Card a call at (877) 303-3117.
Our dedicated patient support staff will answer all your questions about medical marijuana and empower you to find your own path to wellness. When you’re ready, you can schedule a telehealth marijuana evaluation appointment online.
Our practitioners are here to walk you through getting started with medical marijuana, and to advise you on how to talk to your other healthcare professionals to coordinate a care plan that works for you.
Get a marijuana card and take back control of your health!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri.