Doctors still routinely deny patients medical cannabis, although it’s sometimes for good reason. Some patients then decide to obtain and use cannabis on their own. Others decide not to talk to their doctor at all, instead choosing to self-medicate.
What is self-medication?
Self-medication is the process of the patient deciding and administering a “treatment” without the advice of a doctor or another qualified healthcare professional. Most people do self-medicate at some point. When you take over-the-counter painkillers, for example, you’re often self-medicating.
It’s not a good idea to self-medicate with medical cannabis. If you’ve been thinking about foregoing a doctor’s advice, here are a few reasons to reconsider.
1. Medical Cannabis Comes in Many Different Forms
One reason not to self-medicate is that it can be difficult to determine the right dosage of medical marijuana for an individual patient. Even medical professionals often have to use a trial-and-error method to ensure you’re getting the right dose.
There are a few reasons for this. One is that there are many different strains of medical marijuana. Another is that there are different forms. Taking a CBD oil is very different from using dried cannabis, and the conversion can be tricky.
Those who self-medicate are often using an incorrect dosage. This may not seem like a problem, but a high dose can impair you or trigger unpleasant side effects.
2. There Are Still Side Effects
One thing people like about medical marijuana is that it has fewer side effects than many other treatments. That said, it does still have side effects.
Most side effects of medical cannabis tend to be non-severe, such as red eyes or drowsiness. Nonetheless, there are a few more dangerous side effects, such as paranoia. However, some people have a higher risk for adverse events, such as psychosis, and THC could potentially be contraindicated. A doctor can help tell you if you are at a higher risk of experiencing adverse events with cannabis.
As already mentioned, using the wrong dose can also cause problems, since it may make side effects such as drowsiness worse. This can lead to impairment, which has an effect on your daily routines and activities.
3. You Might Not Be Using the Right Strain
Another reason not to self-medicate with medical marijuana is that you may not be using the right strain for you. Most people who self-medicate often use whatever they can obtain. This means you may not be getting the optimal treatment for the symptoms you have.
Many people who self-medicate use high THC products and may have withdrawals because they are not using the proper methods of consumption (such as oils or products high in CBD). In addition, they may mistake withdrawals from THC for anxiety and use more cannabis to fight the withdrawal, causing a downward spiral.
symptoms. Rather than guessing, you should work with these professionals to make sure you’re getting the strain that will most likely help you.
4. Your Doctor May Have a Good Reason to Say No
Perhaps the best reason not to self-medicate with medical marijuana is that your doctor may actually have a good reason not to authorize cannabis for you. Perhaps research doesn’t support its use for your medical condition. Maybe you have a condition that interacts with cannabis in a negative way.
Your doctor is the medical expert, and you may be placing yourself at risk by self-medicating with medical cannabis.
If you’re concerned your doctor will say no or has said no, try asking for a referral to a medical cannabis clinic. This could help you get a second opinion about medical marijuana as a treatment for you.
5. There May Be a Drug Interaction to Consider
If you’re taking other medications, medical cannabis may cause drug interactions, such as blood sugar, blood thinner, pain, and anti-epileptic drug interactions.
6. Your Medications Should Be on Your Medical Record
Although it is possible to self-medicate properly, if you’re treating a medical condition, it’s best to seek out medical advice to ensure this is documented in your medical records, that coverage can be given if appropriate and present, and so physicians have an accurate understanding of all medicines you’re taking.