Treatment with medical cannabis aka medical marijuana can help patients with chronic conditions, but for some patients, it’s difficult to bring up the topic with their GP. Interested in treatment with medical cannabis, but struggling to talk about your GP about it? We’re here to help.
At Cannabis Access Clinics, we’re often contacted by UK patients interested in treatment with medical cannabis (also known as Cannabis Based Medical Products, CBMPs or Medical Marijuana). Most of our patients want access to safe, effective treatment prescribed by a medical specialist. However, an issue facing patients that contact us, or their families/carers, is not knowing how to talk about medical cannabis with their GP, before visiting a specialist. Here we look at why it’s important to involve your GP in your treatment decision, and strategies to help in what can be a difficult conversation.
GPs are at the forefront of patient care in the NHS, and are under increasing pressure to see more patients in less time(1). GPs not only have to look after the thousands of patients at their practice, but are also expected to keep up to date with new medical research. Medical Cannabis, and the role it can have in the treatment of conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and neuropathic pain, is an emerging area of medicine that many GPs aren’t yet experts in. Even the basics, such as the endocannabinoid system, and the role it has in regulating pain perception, mood and appetite is something that still isn’t taught in medical school.
Because this area of medicine is so new in the UK, there’s a realistic chance that when you visit your GP you might even know more about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system than your GP. Even if this feels like the case, it’s still important to involve your GP in the treatment decision, particularly so medical cannabis can be prescribed safely, and the exact treatment chosen takes into account your full medical history, previous and current medical conditions, family history and previous and current medications. Your GP is best placed to provide you this information that can then be passed on to your treating specialist.
If you’re struggling to talk to your GP about medical cannabis, here are some strategies that can help:
If you’re still struggling to talk to your GP, feel free to email [email protected] for advice, or call 020 3998 0115 and one of our friendly, expert team will be happy to help. Other FAQ’s are answered here.
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