U.S. Map of adult-use and medical cannabis
WHY WOULD I NEED A MEDICAL MARIJUANA (MMJ) DOCTOR?
Before you ask yourself “Where can I find medical cannabis doctors near me?” there are some important things to think about. Cannabis is a natural remedy that can treat conditions modulated by the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which can reduce pain intensity, severity and frequency.
Sometimes you take one Advil and sometimes you take three, right? It’s the same idea with THC and CBD. Different conditions require different doses, even for the same person. It’s a bit like being a scientist — make sure to keep notes on what’s working for you. For example, we highly recommend starting a strain journal. When you find the right strains for you, the results can be profound.
Cannabis can also be a valuable component of integrative healthcare. By working with health care providers who specialize in medical marijuana (MMJ) treatments, you can get the most out of your treatment plan while maximizing your well-being and improving your quality of life.
WHAT IS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?
The endocannabinoid system is similar to the cardiovascular, nervous or immune systems, but its sole job is to keep the body balanced, and it helps balance all the body’s systems to keep them working properly. The ECS plays a key role in our body, and wearing it down isn’t hard – poor quality food, pollution/chemicals, pharmaceuticals, stress, aging, or genetics all play a role. Consuming endogenous cannabinoids such as CBD or THC helps restore balance to the ECS and to your mind and body.
However, there’s no quick fix – cannabis must be consumed on a regular basis to have the best results. There are several conditions that medical cannabis doctors may treat, including chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Lupus, among others. We always recommend finding a doctor who has a wide range of experience in both medical marijuana and the conditions it is treating.
3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR MEDICAL CANNABIS DOCTOR
- Does my doctor know about cannabis and the ECS?
- What are my goals for using cannabis?
- What is the quality and safety of cannabis I’m consuming?
The questions above are a good place to start when asking your doctor about cannabis as a treatment for your condition. Cannabis may help ease symptoms of certain medical conditions, and more and more people are finding it can be a replacement for traditional treatments. During your consultation, your doctor can perform a medical marijuana evaluation, review your medical records and eligibility. Each state that has legal medical marijuana has its own list of conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana program.
Upon medical evaluation and confirmation that you are eligible, you will receive a medical marijuana recommendation from your doctor and discuss which products or strains are best for treating your specific condition, along with how often and how you should consume them. They may also recommend cannabis in combination with other treatments, like prescription medications or traditional therapies, to gain the most benefits from the plant.
After reviewing your medical history, your doctor can provide a medical marijuana treatment plan that fits you, and you will be able to apply for a Medical Marijuana Card. A “weed card” will allow you to buy cannabis legally in the state where it was provided. The medical marijuana card contains information about the consumer and their doctor and gives access to medical use of marijuana prescribed by a licensed physician.
There are a number of different types of medical cards issued by local city and state governments, each with their own requirements and application process. Since this card is specific to your needs/medical conditions there might be some variation between how the process works where you live. Keep in mind that in some states, only licensed marijuana doctors can legally order products that contain THC for their patients, so make sure to check with your medical provider.
Once you have your card, this is a good time to learn about sourcing high-quality cannabis. Be sure to look for medical marijuana doctors with experience who can recommend high-quality products from legal dispensaries in your area.
Finding dispensaries in your area
There are a couple of ways to find medical marijuana dispensaries in your area. The first is to search online on platforms such as Leafly.com. Many dispensaries offer online medical cannabis shopping, but you will need to pick up the products in person or purchase by delivery with a valid I.D. and your medical card.
Some people also find success looking for reliable medical marijuana dispensaries through forum postings or social media groups related to medical marijuana consumption. These communities often have experience with the best dispensaries in their area, and can help you locate them.
Dr. Jessica Knox is a Harvard-educated physician trained in cannabinoid medicine and endocannabinology through years of study plus direct clinical experience. She is one of four physicians in her family, and together they founded The American Cannabinoid Clinics.
“My mother, Dr Janice, had started working in cannabis clinics in 2011 and she was really the reason that the rest of the family got interested in and started working in the cannabis space.
She saw babies and grandmas and professionals and cops and all of these people who were coming into this clinic because either they had been failed by the conventional medical system or they were sort of like on their last legs, where it was like, this is an option of last resort. They were real people seeking real relief and many of them finding real relief with cannabis.”
– Dr. Jessica Knox
WHICH STATES HAVE LEGALIZED POT?
Cannabis is legal for adult use in 21 U.S. states + D.C. Medical use of cannabis is legal in 39 states.
According to an NIH study, cannabis may be used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders are just a few of the illnesses and symptoms treated. According to new research, cannabis is also a powerful appetite stimulant.
Cannabis is legal for medical use in the below states. Each state has a specific list of qualifying conditions that can be treated under a medical marijuana program:
Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, CNMI, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia
Cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 Drug, which deems it as having no accepted medical use and makes studying it very difficult. However, the FDA has approved four prescription drugs that contain cannabis: Epidiolex for treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older. There are three FDA-approved synthetic cannabis-related drug products: Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet for nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. These approved drug products are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.
“I as hearing stories of patients in these Cannabis Clinics, who were feeling better, their quality of life was through the roof. They could play with their kids or they could relax after work without feeling intoxicated. It was a complete new paradigm for me that there’s this other option outside of anything in which I was trained in Medical School or Residency that is doing better for patients”
– Dr. Jessica Knox – American Cannabinoid Clinics