Talking With Your Doctor About Medical Marijuana

With medical marijuana now legalized in Oklahoma, many are wondering how they can obtain a medical marijuana license through their physician. If you’re unsure of what to say to your doctor, keep reading to learn more about how you too can benefit from medical cannabis.

Note: In Oklahoma, doctors are not allowed to prescribe cannabis or cannabis products to patients. The DEA still categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I drug, a decision that applies to all states as the organization operates at the federal level. As a result, local medical practitioners cannot give you specific instructions on strains and/or dosages that best treat your ailment(s). Your medical practitioner can recommend the use of cannabis but anything more is considered “aiding and abetting” and is not protected.

Many doctors hesitate to recommend cannabis due to the limited research available, despite the fact that the stigma against marijuana is what prevents in depth research in the first place. Others may have personal biases against the drug and its users. While the tides are changing, a significant amount of doctors lack education on the medical benefits of marijuana. They are unfamiliar with the way cannabis operates within the endocannabinoid system to deliver tangible relief and results.

If your doctor is uncomfortable recommending medical cannabis, you can find a doctor who does issue license here. However, you should always remain transparent with your primary care provider about anything you’re doing to supplement your healthcare. Here are some tips for navigating difficult conversations with doctors we think will help.

Ask for your statements to be kept “off the record”. While your appointment is private by default, specifically requesting confidentiality will signal to your doctor that what you’re about to say is important. S/he will be more attentive and consider your words more carefully. Additionally it will help you feel less intimidated/nervous, since the delicate topic will not be included in any notes or medical charts.

Open the conversation by asking them how they feel about medical marijuana in general. Ideally they’ll respond positively, but if they are against cannabis or unsure, you at least have the answer before you’ve divulged anything more personal. If they are strongly opposed, you can gracefully end the conversation at this moment, without doing any damage to your existing relationship. If they seem open to discussing it further, you can continue on.

Ask your doctor if they have the credentials to evaluate and certify medical marijuana patients. If the answer is no, make sure they are willing to work with a qualified practitioner as needed. Most certifying doctors are required to review your medical history and they may need to consult with your primary care physician.

Inquire about the amount of advice and direction you’d be able to receive regarding the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. As discussed earlier, there are hard limits to what Oklahoma doctors can and cannot say, however your doctor may welcome discussion that doesn’t cross legal boundaries. Others may be fine with you using cannabis but aren’t interested in discussing it at all.

Get clear on the level of privacy you can expect. Ask about how medical cannabis use is documented in your records and when this information would be shared.

Make sure using medical marijuana won’t interfere with existing or future treatments for your condition.

The most important thing you can do before having this conversation with your doctor is researching how marijuana can treat your condition. When you’re armed with this information, you’ll be able to confidently and clearly express your position to your doctor without being shaken by any disagreements. We encourage you to work with your doctor and remain in open communication about your medical cannabis use. While we love giving advice and sharing our expertise, we are not a replacement for your primary care physician.

Ready to get a license? At this moment in time, there is no official list of qualifying conditions that you must have in order to obtain a medical marijuana license in Oklahoma. There also aren’t any official rules limiting the type of cannabis you can use to treat your ailment. Once you’ve followed these steps and have been evaluated by a doctor capable of issuing licenses, you’ll be able to discover the right solution for your needs.

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