Whether it’s chronic pain, mental health concerns, or another ailment, you’ve read up on the research and decided cannabis could help you.
Now you’re preparing to go through a consultation to explore your options and discover the right solution for you. What happens during the consultation process?
First things first: Have you qualified under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR)? You’ll need to get in touch with a medical practitioner, such as your doctor. They’ll assess you and make a recommendation.
Keep in mind you must qualify in order to receive access to medical cannabis. If you don’t qualify under the ACMPR, you won’t be authorized cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Getting a Referral
You can ask your doctor or medical professional to refer you to a health network or clinic specializing in medical cannabis once you’ve qualified under ACMPR. Some medical professionals have clinics they work closely with.
If your doctor doesn’t have a preferred clinic, you can apply to become a patient. Some health networks specializing in medical cannabis will allow you to fill out and submit your own patient information package. If you’re unsure, contact your preferred clinic before you apply.
There are many clinics and providers, so be sure to do some research. Some providers offer more services, going above and beyond medical cannabis consulting.
Submitting and Booking
You’ll need to submit a patient information package to your preferred provider unless your doctor refers you. If you have a referral, your information will be forwarded to the clinic.
The provider will get in touch with you to book your consultation.
Now the big question: What happens during a medical cannabis consultation?
The provider should review your patient information carefully prior to the meeting. You should bring any questions or concerns you have with you to the appointment. Also be prepared to answer questions about your health, including conditions you have, those you’ve had in the past, and any medications you’re taking.
Qualified medical professionals conduct the consultation. They’ll ask you about your health, your family history, why you’re seeking cannabis, and if you’ve used it successfully in the past.
Designing a Plan
During the consultation, you’ll also be asked what you want to achieve with medical cannabis. Perhaps you want to better manage your chronic pain without the use of opioids. Maybe you’ve been suffering from insomnia or anxiety.
Be honest about what you hope medical cannabis can do for you. Also be sure to express any concerns you have and ask any questions you have about the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Once your hopes and concerns have been laid out on the table, you and the provider can get to work on designing a custom plan. You’ll discuss different strains of medical cannabis and different intakes. You may develop contingency plans. It sometimes takes time to find the right strain of medical cannabis for you!
If you or the provider decide cannabis isn’t the right solution for you, that’s okay too. You’ll have some time after the consultation to decide how you want to proceed, even if you create a plan.
You might decide cannabis is right for you and get started right away. You might also take some time to think over the plan and address any lingering concerns you have after the consultation.
Either way, you’ll want to follow up. Follow-up consultations help you learn more about cannabis treatment and address additional questions. You’ll also be able to make adjustments to the plan and learn how to better manage your usage with other aspects of your day-to-day life. You may even discuss other additional treatment options.
A medical cannabis consultation can lay any concerns to rest and set you on the path to success with cannabis.