The medical marijuana patient population is growing in Canada. Even as rules are changing, many are discovering the medicinal properties of cannabis. As more research is conducted, more doctors and patients alike are convinced medical marijuana may be the right treatment for them.
Are you part of this growing population? New patients often have many questions, some of which your doctor may not be able to answer. As a result, most new medical marijuana patients make at least one mistake or another. Here are some of the most common mistakes new patients make when using medical cannabis for the first time.
1. New Patients Should Know How to Store Medical Cannabis Properly
How should you store medical marijuana? Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t store it in plastic bags with zipper locks. You also shouldn’t store it in clear containers or place it in the refrigerator.
Licensed producers deliver their products in a package. Cannabis is best stored in coloured, air-tight jars. These jars filter UV light, which helps avoid the breakdown of cannabinoids. Many patients don’t realize they should also store the cannabis with a humidity pack, such as boveda packs, to protect the moisture content. You should also store cannabis safely out of reach of children and pets.
2. They Don’t Go Slow
Many medical cannabis patients are eager to see the effects of their new treatment. Most physicians will start with a low dose. Patients sometimes don’t see the effects they expect with this low dose.
When this happens, the new medical marijuana patient may be tempted to ignore the caution to go slow. Instead, they’ll ramp up their dosage. For example, they will take a second edible dose before the first one kicks in, and then they end up taking too much.
3. They Don’t Go Back to the Medical Cannabis Clinic
Chances are you visited a medical marijuana clinic at some point during your authorization process. Your doctor may have referred you there, or you may have submitted a self-referral form.
Once the authorization has been issued, however, many medical cannabis patients make the mistake of never going back to the clinic. This is an oversight.
The clinic is an important resource for information and advice. Be sure to consult with them, especially if you have questions about doses and strains.
In addition, products change with time, so it’s important to check it, give feedback to the medical staff and change products if required.
4. They Assume the Medication Isn’t Working and Stop
Unfortunately, many people have made medical marijuana out to be some kind of super-medication that can “cure” almost anything. The medical research doesn’t bear this out.
Many patients are misled by articles proclaiming what cannabis can do. When their expectations aren’t met, they assume medical marijuana isn’t working for them and stop using it.
If this happens, go back to your doctor or the clinic. There are many different strains you can try, and your dosage may need to be adjusted.
You should also do your research and set reasonable expectations. Cannabis hasn’t been proven to “cure” health conditions. Rather, it can help you manage the symptoms of the condition you’re treating.
5. They Don’t Use Anything Else in Their Treatment Regimen
Medical marijuana appears to be an effective treatment for a number of different ailments and conditions, but it may work best in combination with other treatments.
Many patients see better outcomes if they incorporate other treatments into their symptom management. These don’t have to be medicinal options, although they may be. If you add new medications or herbal remedies, be sure to check with your doctor.
Other treatment options include physiotherapy, meditation, and even exercise.
If you’re new to medical cannabis, you shouldn’t let these five mistakes stop you from getting the most out of your treatment. Avoid them and get on the road to feeling better.