In this four-minute video, our Patient Intake Specialist April Burch walks you through talking to your healthcare professional about becoming a medical cannabis patient. At Herbal Remedies Dispensaries, April assists individuals with the application process to get their Illinois medical cannabis card. She is a proud Illinois medical cannabis patient too.
Becoming a medical cannabis patient always begins with a one-on-one conversation with your healthcare professional. Illinois residents are required to have the Healthcare Professional Written Certification form completed and signed to apply for the program. This is the first and can sometimes be the biggest hurdle in getting an Illinois medical cannabis card. A common misconception is that patients are being prescribed medical cannabis and that‘s not the case. The healthcare professional is simply confirming that the medical condition is present.
Here are 15 quick tips for talking to your healthcare professional about medical cannabis:
1. Know the science behind cannabis
From the endocannabinoid system and CB1/CB2 receptors to cannabinoids and terpenes, learn the basics to what makes cannabis an effective medicine.
2. Understand the methods of medicating
Cannabis can be consumed via inhalation, oral ingestion, sublinguals, topicals and transdermals. Get educated on the pros and cons to each.
3. Bring research on your condition
There may be unbiased, reputable resources like medical journals available that have evidence to support cannabis use to treat your specific condition.
4. Avoid using cannabis slang words
Give this amazing medicinal plant the respect and legitimacy it deserves by not calling it marijuana, weed, pot, or any other term you may have heard.
5. Express desire to rely on prescription drugs less
Given cannabis has been proven considerably safer than opioids, cannabis should be sought out as a first-line treatment and not a last resort.
6. Flaunt the safety of cannabis
Unlike many prescription drugs, cannabis has been proven to have few side effects and is often regarded as one of the safest substances to consume.
7. Respectfully ask them to withhold opinion
Cannabis isn’t widely accepted in the healthcare industry and some rely too heavily on personal convictions as opposed to science-based facts.
8. Tactfully request the certification
Don’t just hand your doctor the certification and ask that they complete it. Take time to have a genuine conversation about cannabis as medicine first.
9. Be transparent
If you‘ve been using cannabis to successfully treat your condition, be open, honest and share that with your healthcare professional. They are bound to confidentiality.
10. Keep a journal of cannabis use
Especially for those that have been using cannabis recreationally, document your experience including strains, dosage and how they affected you.
11. Get a second opinion
If your healthcare professional is unable to certify or doesn’t feel comfortable doing so, ask that they refer you to another healthcare professional that they trust.
12. Talk with the healthcare professional only
There are reasons to do so, without getting into specifics, but sharing your intentions with the doctor’s office staff is usually not advised.
13. Try hemp CBD products first
Because they’re legal nationwide, you may first find the relief you’re seeking via hemp CBD products like what‘s found at our sister store Evergreen Wellness.
14. Mention educational opportunities
Since cannabis is rarely covered in medical school, Herbal Remedies representatives are always willing to speak to your healthcare professional about it. Let them know they can arrange a meeting by contacting Herbal Remedies directly.
15. Find a receptive healthcare professional
If they’re unwilling to certify you, obtain copies of your medical records and seek out a qualifying healthcare professional elsewhere.