How To Talk To Your Doctor Before Using Medical Cannabis

Updated on March 9, 2023

Medicinal cannabis, commonly called medical marijuana, is now widely accepted as a potential alternative therapy for several ailments. More patients are considering cannabis as a treatment option as more states are legalizing it. 

To ensure that medical marijuana is a safe and sensible treatment for your ailment, see your doctor before using it. Here are some suggestions about how to talk to your doctor before taking medical cannabis: 

  1. Research And Gather Information 

You must research and gather information on medical cannabis before using it. Some reliable sources include medical journals, official websites, and respectable news outlets. By doing preliminary research before consulting with your doctor, you’ll be better able to weigh the potential advantages and drawbacks of medicinal marijuana. 

However, you must also choose reputable doctors. Seek trustworthy professionals like medical marijuana doctors in Texas who can provide accurate and up-to-date information about the use of medical cannabis in your state.  

  1. Be Open And Honest 

It’s essential to be upfront and truthful with your doctor about your medical history, your medications, and any additional treatments you’ve tried or are currently on. This will make it easier for your doctor to comprehend your illness and decide whether medical cannabis is a secure and effective course of treatment for you. Never be embarrassed to bring up any worries or queries you may have about using medical marijuana, as this will ensure your safety. 

  1. Ask About The Legality And Availability  

Even in jurisdictions where medicinal cannabis is permitted, there could be limitations on who can use it and how it can be bought; after all, not all states have authorized it. Consult your doctor to learn if medical marijuana is an accepted form of treatment and if it is permitted in your state. If medical cannabis is permitted and available, your doctor may be able to guide you on where and how to get some. 

  1. Discuss The Potential Benefits And Risks 

Medical cannabis may treat various medical conditions, including chronic pain, nausea, and seizures. However, like any medication, there are potential risks and side effects. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of using medical cannabis for your medical condition. Your doctor can also discuss any possible drug interactions with your current medications. 

  1. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice 

After discussing medical cannabis with your doctor, follow their advice and recommendations. Suppose your doctor determines that medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment option for your medical condition. In that case, they can provide a prescription and help you obtain the necessary documentation to use medical cannabis legally. 

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Importance Of Talking To Your Doctor Before Using Medical Cannabis 

Talking to your doctor before using medical cannabis is crucial. It can interact with other medications and cause side effects that may affect your health and well-being. By working with your doctor, you can determine if medical cannabis is the right treatment option for your medical condition and develop a safe and effective treatment plan tailored to your needs. 

Here are some reasons why it is important to talk to your doctor before using medical cannabis: 

  1. Help You Choose the Right Form and Dosage  

Medical cannabis comes in numerous forms and dosages, and picking the right one for your specific condition can be difficult. Your doctor can aid you in understanding the differences in the forms and dosages. They will also help you choose the most suitable one based on your medical condition and health history. For instance, if you have respiratory difficulties, your doctor may advise using non-inhalation forms of medical cannabis, such as edibles or tinctures. 

  1. Monitor Your Progress 

Continued monitoring and adjustment are necessary when undergoing medical cannabis treatment to guarantee its safety and efficacy. Your doctor can help you keep track of your progress by monitoring your symptoms, assessing any changes in your medical condition, and modifying your treatment plan as needed. Suppose you are not achieving the intended effects of medical cannabis. In that case, your doctor may alter the dosage or recommend an alternative. 

  1. Avoid Potential Complications  

When using medical cannabis, certain issues like addiction, cognitive decline, and respiratory difficulties can arise. Consulting with your doctor is crucial to comprehend these risks and ways to decrease them. For example, they might advise you to avoid smoking medical cannabis to reduce the risk of developing lung problems. 

  1. Provide Additional Resources and Support  

By consulting with your doctor, you can access additional resources and support to help you better manage your medical condition and improve your quality of life. This may involve referrals to specialists like pain management experts and mental health professionals or information about support groups and other resources that can assist you in coping with your condition and enhancing your overall wellness. 

Potential Side Effects 

As mentioned earlier, medical cannabis has potential side effects that may not suit everyone. Some of the most common side effects of medical cannabis include the following: 

  1. Dry Mouth  

Dry mouth is a common side effect of medical cannabis, and it occurs because the cannabinoids in cannabis can reduce saliva production. Drinking plenty of fluids and using sugar-free gum or candy can help to alleviate this side effect. 

  1. Dizziness  

Dizziness or lightheadedness can occur after using medical cannabis, especially if the patient uses too much or has a low tolerance. Dizziness can also be a sign of dehydration or low blood pressure, which can be exacerbated by medical cannabis. Thus, you must avoid driving or operating heavy machinery if you experience dizziness while taking medical cannabis. 

  1. Impaired Cognitive Function  

Medical cannabis can impair cognitive functions, such as memory and attention. This can make it difficult to perform tasks requiring concentration or focus and affect academic or work performance. Patients who use medical cannabis should be aware of these potential cognitive effects and avoid activities that require mental acuities until they know how medical cannabis affects them.  

  1. Increased Heart Rate  

Those with heart issues should avoid using medical cannabis since it can raise the heart rate. The elevated heart rate can also result in palpitations or anxious sensations for some patients. If you have cardiac issues, you must consult your doctor before consuming medical marijuana. 

  1. Changes In Appetite  

Medical cannabis can increase or decrease appetite, depending on the strain and dosage. Patients who use medical cannabis should be aware of these potential changes in appetite and adjust their diet and meal plans accordingly.  

  1. Mood Changes  

Medical cannabis can affect your mood, causing feelings of euphoria or anxiety. Patients who experience significant mood changes or find that medical cannabis exacerbates preexisting mental health conditions should talk to their doctor about adjusting their treatment plan or exploring alternative treatment options without psychoactive elements. 

While medical cannabis can be a beneficial treatment option for some medical problems, it is vital to remember that risks are involved. Antipsychotics or blood thinners may interact with medical cannabis, raising the risk of bleeding or other negative side effects. Patients should call their doctor immediately if they develop any unexpected symptoms or negative effects while using medical marijuana. 


Discussing medical cannabis with your doctor is crucial to ensuring safe, effective, and personalized treatment for your medical condition. Consulting with your doctor shows that you are taking a responsible and proactive approach to your health and helps build a strong and trusting relationship with your healthcare provider. So, if you are considering using medical cannabis to manage your medical condition, don’t hesitate to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor today.