Do you need to tell your doctor about smoking weed? Over half the US has hopped on the green bandwagon in legalizing medical weed. Even still, in the states slacking on marijuana law reform want to medicate with pot. But is it actually OK to let the doc know blazing helps your symptoms? Do you really need to tell your doctor about smoking weed?
Your physician wants to know about anything that might impact your health one way or another. A good medical history includes questions about your exercise habits, vitamin use, diet, and sleep. Regular cannabis use might also be relevant. Your endocannabinoid receptors are getting the very molecules they were designed to receive!
Your physician is likely to read more health studies than you do, and he or she may know the latest cannabis recommendations, or cautions, for a person with your medical profile.
Maybe this will help you chill about coming clean about using pot to your doc. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA offers the promise of a safe space at the doctor’s office. Joe Elford, a lawyer at Americans for Safe Access, explains why you’re in the clear.
“A doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana is very private since HIPAA makes it nearly impossible for even law enforcement to obtain private patient records.” Great news! HIPAA secures patient privacy, so a doc can’t go to the cops and turn you in for toking.
Still paranoid the doctor can’t be trusted? The Center for Disease Control doesn’t even want them bothering with looking for THC in routine patient drug screening anymore.
With the opioid crisis and health issues plaguing the nation, focus has shifted away from weed as dangerous. Instead, research has encouraged a growing consensus of weed’s medicinal value.
But just because you tell your doctor about smoking weed doesn’t guarantee access and good advice. Even states with medical marijuana can’t find doctors to recommend the drug to patients. Sometimes it isn’t cost-effective to become registered to approve a patient to use weed. And the medical marijuana programs can move slowly to start, like in the case of the New York’s Compassionate Care Act.
Other docs just plain refuse to suggest bud. Being a doctor rooting for the cause for medical weed still comes with risky consequences. They potentially face federal punishments for prescribing weed because of its status as a schedule 1 drug.
Furthermore, many doctors still lack the critical knowledge of the positive and negative effects of treating certain conditions with pot. Currently, medical school programs don’t teach in-depth on the topic of medicinal weed. In fact, research has shown that 90 percent of doctors don’t know enough about marijuana to help their patients decide if it is the right treatment for them.
You can share the success you’ve had, say, in using cannabis as an anti-depressant: You can explain that it helps you get more sleep and feel more hopeful. You can tell your gynecologist that you’ve been using pot for menstrual cramps since you were 17. You can inform your doctor about how you use weed to ward off a migraine.
If your physician gets many such reports, one day he or she might suggest to a patient, “You could try smoking a little marijuana when you get that aura announcing a migraine. Some people say it makes the migraine go away.”
Honest communication about any treatments outside of a doctor’s orders is essential to staying alive and well. Especially if you use other medications than weed. Some prescription pills can have serious side effects if used with pot. Interactions must be considered in order to ensure a patient’s health.
What your doctor doesn’t know may very well end up hurting you. Tell your doctor about smoking weed. They can’t narc on you, no matter how many ounces you buy. But they can tell you not to smoke a spliff with Viagra. So tell your doctor about smoking weed. A cannabis conversation might save your life.