Thanks to the rise of telehealth, it's become increasingly straightforward to book an appointment with a qualified doctor to see if you might be eligible for – and benefit from – medical cannabis. But what can you expect in one of these consultations?
While cannabis use has been stigmatised in Australia (and around the globe) for many years, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests cannabis may have certain medical applications.
Your appointment should be a judgment-free, empathetic conversation that will cover your medical history and symptoms in detail. Doctors want you to be honest and open so that they can make the best decisions for your health.
What You Need to Prepare Before Your First Consult
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the governing body in Australia that regulates medical cannabis. One of their requirements is that your doctor asks three questions:
Do you have a chronic medical condition, and have you experienced symptoms for three months or longer?
What other (if any) treatments have you tried for this medical condition?
Have these treatments provided relief of symptoms?
1. Current Condition and Past Treatments
Be prepared to discuss the reason(s) you’re seeking medical marijuana. For example, it may be for a mental health diagnosis or chronic pain. You'll need to describe the symptoms that you experience and how they impact your day-to-day life.
You’ll also want to go into detail about what treatments you’ve already tried, such as antidepressants, over-the-counter pain relievers, sleep medication, etc. Be ready to discuss when you tried these remedies as well as for how long.
How you responded to these treatments is also important information. Did you receive some relief or none at all?
2. List of Current Medications
In your medical marijuana consultation you should also disclose any medication you’re currently taking. This should include both prescription and over-the-counter remedies, to help us get a good idea of what has and hasn't worked for you.
Medical cannabis may adversely interact with some medications, so bear that in mind during your appointment.
One of the most helpful ways to prepare for your cannabis consult is to write down any questions you may have about medical marijuana. This is especially helpful for those who are not very familiar with the plant and how it can have an impact on your unique physiology.
4. Do a Little Research
Last but not least, do some research on medical cannabis and how it may help your specific condition.