MMJ Evaluations Are Unavoidable
There’s no getting around it — if you want a medical marijuana card, you have to get a pass from a licensed physician. The process for getting a physician certification can vary from state-to-state and doctor-to-doctor.
Each state with a medical cannabis program will have qualifying conditions for patients. These will have similarities, but can vary widely in their differences. For example, California and Oklahoma leave it up to the doctor to decide if the patient qualifies. States like Missouri provide an extensive list of conditions, but leave some leeway for doctors to interpret a patient’s need for MMJ. Other states have a list of specific conditions and that is it.
But even in states like California, there are doctors that are loath to prescribe medical marijuana. And in states with rigorous programs, there are doctors who know that regardless of your medical history, they ultimately make the call because they are the authors of your medical record.
What this means is that in any medical marijuana program, you are dealing with a range of opportunities.
The Three Fundamental Symptoms
If you are looking to get some MMJ relief but are lacking a hard and fast condition, don’t give up after one pass over that qualifying condition list. There’s always hope.
There are three basic symptoms that most of us are likely to experience and suffer from at some point in our lives. They are:
And if these symptoms are chronic — that is if they won’t leave us alone — they can affect quality of life and become debilitating, which is a fundamental reason to seek relief and a great excuse to get that relief from medical cannabis.
Now, most qualifying conditions lists have some form of these symptoms on them. Chronic pain is usually always there along with anxiety — in the very least as PTSD.
Of all these symptoms, chronic pain may be the one that doctors may want to see some medical history proof for. For example, if you have constant back pain, they may want to know if you have had any procedures or tests to determine the cause. Then again, writer’s cramp has shown up on some qualifying condition lists, so …
The point is this: providing that you find a doctor that is not MMJ-cup-half-empty (we’ll discuss this in the next section), if you can say you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis, medical record or no, you have a good chance of being approved by a cannabis doctor for medical weed.
Here are some examples that could land you an MMJ cert if you have them:
● Social anxiety is keeping you from participating in family, work, and recreational events.
● You can’t get out of bed sometimes because of depression.
● You have panic attacks at scary times like at work or while driving.
● Anxiety and/or depression is taking your appetite away.
● Anxiety is making it so you can’t concentrate on responsibilities at work and home.
● Lack of sleep is impairing your ability to function during the day.
● You have panic attacks because you can’t go to sleep.
● You worry all day about not getting enough sleep.
● You are drinking way too much in order to deal with anxiety and depression, and you want to stop.
● You have regular pain in your hands, feet, back, neck, or shoulders.
● Some states list migraine as a qualifying symptom, but if not, this can certainly fall under the category of chronic pain. And, as we all know, it is quite debilitating.
● Agoraphobia — fear of leaving the house — is another reason people have given to successfully obtain a medical card.
Advocate for Yourself
Anyone can say no to you. No doctor is legally bound to give you an MMJ certification. But no one, besides you, is going to suggest that you should have access to MMJ and give the reasons why. That person is you.
In most states, medical marijuana has become legal because citizens fought for it and believed in its ability to heal with more efficacy and less risks than many prescription meds (a cannabis doctor is likely to be like-minded in this). You have every right to try to utilize it. But a doctor still has to sign off. So make a convincing argument for yourself.
The Effect Your Condition Has on Your Life
If you choose one of the fundamental three, be ready to talk about it. Even a compassionate cannabis doctor needs to believe you’re not just there to score some weed. If you claim pain, come prepared to say how it is negatively impacting your life or the people around you. Does it keep you from pulling your weight at work? At home? Does it keep you from getting enough rest? Are you worried about constantly gobbling Ibuprofen? Is it causing you to drink excessively? Is it giving you anxiety?
One or two negative effects should be convincing enough.
You Don’t Want the Side Effects of Traditional Meds
Tell the doctor that you’ve seen what opioids do — we all have, right? The same as we all know that long-term NAIDs use is damaging to organs. Sleeping pills have scary side effects. Even Benadryl can give a groggy hangover. If you’ve experienced any of these side effects or have a fear of them, this is a legitimate concern and a good argument for the safer MMJ alternative.
If you’ve had a friend who has self-medicated with alcohol and was able to get off that train with MMJ, this is a good point. Bring up MMJ success stories. It shows that you have put thought into your decision to try it.
Admit You’ve Not Always Had Access to Healthcare
If the doctor wonders why you don’t have any records as evidence of your condition, don’t be afraid to say that you have not always had access to health care. Maybe you were raised to not trust or need doctors. Perhaps you take a holistic approach to your health. Or you haven’t always had insurance and just learned to get by the best you can. But now there is cannabis medicine … for people like you. Medical marijuana is meant to provide safe access to everyone who needs it.
Why You Should Consider a Cannabis Doctor
Cannabis doctors tend to be:
● more compassionate and like-minded about cannabis.
● less of the opinion that MMJ is a last resort medicine.
● more familiar with and educated about medical marijuana, and therefore more comfortable with it.
These attributes aren’t because of anything shady. It simply comes down to understanding and education. Think about it: A cannabis doctor that is comfortable certifying a patient for medical marijuana is actually way less shady than a doctor who has become so comfortable with opioids that a whole addiction pandemic was fueled. Or so comfy with benzos that practically every person who asks for them has a prescription. Or that indiscriminately prescribes sleeping pills that have people unknowingly baking thanksgiving dinners and taking long drives in the middle of the night without recollection.
We’re not saying that your regular family practitioner will refuse you or is uneducated about medical marijuana. But a medical marijuana doctor is a safer bet for understanding.
Legitimate, licensed cannabis doctors are prone to compassion and are familiar with the landscape. They likely don’t judge a vet, for example, because they’re reluctant to get themselves all set up in a system that is slow and doesn’t work for them; they recognize that people’s symptoms can be debilitating and that it’s cruel to make patients who are suffering jump through hoops so that the prescribers can “feel comfortable” signing off on MMJ.
If you’re ready to see if you qualify for a medical card, Elevate Holistics is a safe and secure HIPAA compliant online clinic. Our compassionate cannabis doctors are ready to meet you for a quick, hassle-free evaluation. Book your telehealth appointment today!