7 Things Every Woman Should Know When They Speak to a Medical Cannabis Physician

Women are key to expanding America’s medical marijuana revolution. Women entrepreneurs bring regulated cannabis businesses to life. Women legal advocates lead the struggle to remove every trace of criminality from production and consumption of medical cannabis products. Women researchers delve into the science and sociology of medical marijuana’s therapeutic properties and applications, seeking ways to optimize the cannabis plant’s contribution to global wellness.

Just as important as female business leaders in the legal cannabis economy, every bit as vital as all of the attorney activist women arguing the case for medical marijuana’s acceptance and effectiveness, are the uncounted women currently treating chronic health conditions with medical cannabis products.

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Women consumers of medical cannabis products are shaping the market for regulated marijuana.

These women pioneers in therapeutic cannabis consumption have widened the acceptance of medical marijuana treatments and normalized seeking relief outside of traditional pharmaceutical methods.

An even vaster female contingent is poised to bolster the ranks of the medical cannabis revolution. Perhaps you are among this multitude of women dealing with ongoing health issues and finding insufficient relief from traditional pharmaceuticals. You, or a woman you know, are curious to try the therapeutic properties of medical cannabis.

Aware of the medical marijuana groundswell, you have questions, and rightly so. Every woman who wants detailed, correct, credible information regarding the benefits of medical marijuana deserves up to date, knowledgeable answers from a medical expert.

The first thing to know is that a woman’s primary care physician may attempt to brush aside her questions about therapeutic cannabis treatment.

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1. Insist That Your Physician Talks to You About Medical Marijuana

If you’re not planning to use a Leafwell physician (who treat all patients equally and who all believe in the power of medical marijuana), you need to make sure your physician takes you seriously when it comes to both your medical condition and medical marijuana.

An October 2020 study by researchers from Chicago, Illinois’s DePaul University titled “Gender Differences in Medical Cannabis Use” concluded that, “Women are more likely to report lower levels of support from physicians for medical cannabis use.”

The journal Practical Pain Management suggests tactics cannabis curious patients can use to begin the cannabis conversation with a primary care physician.

  • Say a friend is using medical cannabis, and what does your doctor think.
  • You’ve read a book that mentioned using medical cannabis for your condition.
  • You saw a documentary about medical cannabis products treating your condition.
  • Say you watched a news show about medical marijuana’s acceptance.

Whether you go forward with medical cannabis products or not, do so fully knowledgeable about what medical cannabis products can do for your chronic health needs.

2. What Conditions Particular to Women Will Cannabis Best Treat?

Medical cannabis cardholders often cite four main symptoms they address with medical cannabis products:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia

As summarized in MD Monthly, female medical marijuana patients use regulated cannabis products to address the same symptoms as male medical marijuana users do, but the pain, the anxiety, inflammation and insomnia have causes particular to women.

Your doctor should be aware of the shown efficacy of cannabis products and extracts in relieving muscle aches, stomach cramps, and nausea as associated with menstrual cycles.

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) manifest both as physical pain and stress activation. Your doctor should be familiar with studies indicating medical cannabis’s effectiveness in reducing the severity of physical discomfort and anxiety associated with PMS.

Endometriosis is a painful condition in which tissue similar to the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus—the endometrium—grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can attack the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic tissue. Surgical intervention to remove scarring caused by endometriosis often cannot be avoided. Pain may persist after surgery.

A study presented at the 2019 American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) Global Congress and reported by Contemporary OB/GYN found that of 240 respondents who had been diagnosed with endometriosis:

“77 (32.1%) reported having tried cannabis [to relieve discomfort associated with the condition]. The majority of these participants (52 of 77, 67.5%) reported cannabis to be very or moderately effective. Of 124 clinic respondents, 58 (46.8%) reported having tried marijuana, with the majority of patients (44 of 58, 75.9%) reporting cannabis to be very or moderately effective.”

If your doctor is aware of and excited about research indicating medical cannabis’s effectiveness in reducing endometriosis discomfort, you are ready to move on to the next questions.

3. What Mix of Cannabinoids Will Be Best for You?

“Cannabinoids are the molecules in the cannabis plant matter that have a medical value and perform certain actions in the body,” explains Doctor Sharmilla K Patil, CEO of Greentech Laboratories, to the medical journal Practical Pain Management.

The two most medically significant cannabinoids contained in the cannabis plant are THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC causes the psychoactive so-called high associated with cannabis use. CBD, like THC, offers many therapeutic applications without THC’s psychoactive properties.

Practical Pain Management notes that most medical cannabis patients use a marijuana strain that contains a mixture of THC and CBD.

Your doctor should acknowledge that, in general application, low doses of THC can be effective for treating anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and that higher doses are often reserved for pain relief.

Proceed with confidence that the correct blend of THC and CBD will be recommended for your needs.

Free Infographic Guide to Cannabinoids

4. What Cannabis Consumption Method Will Best Suit You?

Once your doctor has determined the best ratio and dosage of TCH to CBD for your medical cannabis needs, Doctor David Bearman, author of Drugs Are NOT the Devil’s Tools: How Greed and Discrimination Lead to a Dysfunctional Drug Policy and How It Can Be Fixed, suggests you consult on the “route of administration.”

Medical cannabis products can be smoked, vaporized, absorbed under the tongue, eaten and applied topically. Along with your doctor’s recommendation, experienced medical marijuana dispensary staff can help zero in on the option to best address your needs and preference.

5. How Can I Avoid Possible Side Effects of Cannabis?

“The best advice with medical cannabis is to ‘start low and go slow,’ ” advises Doctor Bearman.

The side effects of cannabis, relative to lethal toxicity and addiction potential of commonly prescribed pharmaceutical painkillers, sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, are mild. Unpleasant reactions to cannabis generally result from too high a dosage of THC consumed by a patient new to cannabis. These side effects are more frequent among recreational users than among medical marijuana patients.

Your doctor should assure you that if you experience paranoia, a panic attack or a state of free-floating uneasiness or dissatisfaction after consuming medical cannabis products, these disturbances are temporary.

Being aware that the uneasiness will pass and leave no lasting trauma will help it to pass.

Best cannabidiol (CBD) product for anxiety.

6. Will Cannabis Reduce My Use of Prescription Pharmaceuticals?

A 2017 study, “Cannabis as a Substitute for Prescription Drugs,” published by the Journal of Pain Research concluded that the odds of substituting medical cannabis products for prescription drugs are higher among women than men.

This ratio of reduced reliance upon pharmaceutical medications among women who use medical cannabis is supported by the October 2020 DePaul University study. “Gender Differences in Medical Cannabis Use” found that “a majority of women in this study were able to reduce or discontinue prescription medication with moderate-at-best support from primary care providers and specialists.”

7. How Can You Legally Obtain Medical Cannabis Products in Your State?

Qualifying conditions (health issues that are recognized as valid cause for medical marijuana treatment) and procedures for obtaining medical marijuana recommendations vary from state to state. Your doctor should have a fair grasp of the regulations for medical cannabis patients in your jurisdiction.

To contact a physician today who treats every patient with compassion and respect and can give you precise step-by-step guidance in obtaining your medical cannabis registration, get started with Leafwell.

Written by
Allan MacDonell
Allan MacDonell

Allan MacDonell’s work has been featured in publications ranging from Dazed and Confused UK to the New York Times and Washington Post. He is the author of Prisoner of X, Punk Elegies and Now That I Am Gone, and was a founding editorial director at online outlets including Buzznet, TakePart and Kindland. MacDonell views teaming with Leafwell as an opportunity to encourage the emerging role of legal cannabis as a highly effective medical treatment.

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