What should I tell my doctor?
When I started seeing medical marijuana patients in my home in Oregon, I initially was seeing younger patients, often athletes like surfers, mountain bikers, and skiers, who had chronic pain from injuries. Generally they were rightfully wary of the dangers associated with over the counter pain medicines like Tylenol and Ibuprofen and downright scared of prescription narcotics. Because of this, many of my patients were already successfully using medical marijuana to prevent and treat pain and were seeing me in hopes that they could continue to do so legally.
Often they were initially reluctant to tell me about their marijuana use, but when I explained my support for it's use and my desire to learn as much as I could about how cannabis worked best, they usually opened up in a way that allowed us to have a more honest and productive patient and doctor relationship. This also gave me a chance to learn about all the other things that my patients were using or trying that were outside of the windowless, fluorescently lit box that is western medicine.
I always take referrals as the highest compliment I can get from a patient, and as time went on I began to start seeing a lot of these patient's parents. These folks were older and had weathered the slings and arrows of fate long enough to accumulate some injuries or pains that were interfering with their ability to do the things that they enjoyed. Very few of these patients had tried marijuana but almost all of them told me that, "My doctor prescribed me some pain pills but they made me feel terrible and I don't want to get hooked on something." By looking at their other medical issues, medications, and lifestyle, we were typically able to incorporate cannabis in a way that addressed their pain without harm. Many of these patients were concerned about ending up high from the THC component of cannabis and were surprised to learn that pain management can be accomplished well without interfering with cognition.
Whether you currently use marijuana for health or you are just trying to find out if and how cannabis can help you, our doctors are here to hear your story and your needs with compassion and honesty. All patient conversations are confidential by law, but also by preference. Our doctors do the best when they know the most.