Like many patients seeking to treat a wide array of health conditions, you’re interested in learning more about medical cannabis and how it may be able to help you. New research is shedding light on potential medical uses for cannabis, and you’re wondering if it might be time to try it as part of your treatment regime.
You want to talk to your doctor about it. Or maybe you’ve already talked to your doctor, who said no to the idea. Maybe you just want to get some answers, and you’re not sure who to turn to. You think a consultation with a medical cannabis clinic could be the right move, but you’re not sure how to get an appointment.
Can you refer yourself to a cannabis clinic?
The answer depends on the clinic and program.
Getting a Referral to a Medical Cannabis Clinic
There are many reasons to visit a legitimate medical cannabis clinic. Your doctor may even refer you, especially if they don’t feel they have the expertise to authorize medical marijuana for you. If you have questions or need assistance with a new authorization, a medical marijuana clinic might be where you need to turn.
Most clinics operate on a referral basis. This means you can’t just walk in and ask for an appointment. For most people, getting a referral means talking to one of the medical practitioners in your circle of care.
Your doctor may refer you to a clinic for any number of reasons. They may want a second opinion, or they may be unsure they have enough knowledge about medical cannabis to make an informed decision about offering it as a treatment option. You may have questions they can’t answer.
What do you do when your doctor won’t refer you?
Can You Refer Yourself?
If your doctor shuts down the conversation about medical marijuana, you may find yourself at a loss for what to do next. You want a second opinion, but the doctor won’t even refer you to a clinic for further consultation.
If this happens, you may feel you’re out of options. Most medical cannabis clinics and medical marijuana programs don’t allow for self-referral. There are, however, a few that do allow for this.
There are some sleep aid programs, for example, that will accept self-referrals. Patients can sometimes fill in a form and refer themselves.
Keep in mind that this referral will not guarantee you an authorization. What it does is give you access to the knowledgeable team at the clinic. They can help answer questions you still have, and they can provide a second opinion.
Can You Get an Authorization If You Self-Refer?
Receiving a medical cannabis consultation is only one part of the process. What happens next? You must get an authorization. Even if the clinic you apply to accepts self-referrals, you might wonder if they can authorize cannabis for you.
The answer is yes. Legitimate medical marijuana clinics have a team of expert medical staff working for them. They often issue authorizations for patients referred by other physicians as well.
If the physician you consult with at the clinic feels you’re a good candidate for medical cannabis, they can issue an authorization for you.
Look at Your Options
Your best bet is to talk to one of your doctors, be it your family physician, your psychiatrist, or your oncologist, and ask about getting a medical marijuana license. You’ll want to do some research and prepare before your appointment. Be sure to go in with an open mind.
If your doctor refuses and won’t refer you to a medical cannabis clinic, then self-referral might be an option for some programs and clinics. Take a look at what options are available to you. You can often still access medical cannabis even if your family doctor says no.