Does my condition qualify for medical cannabis use?
Many physical and neurological conditions are listed as viable for medical cannabis. Qualifying conditions depend on the severity, if traditional medications have failed, and other stipulations.
Is medical cannabis safe for me to use?
While cannabis isn’t fatal, it’s also not for everyone. You should consider age, qualifying condition and severity of symptoms, previous medical and family histories, current medications, and other important factors before prescribing this alternative treatment.
Will cannabis affect my other medications?
When discussing this option, you must be completely honest about current medications, including dosage and method of administration. Medical cannabis can affect traditional medicine and lead to unwanted side effects if not carefully prescribed.
What are the side effects?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exact side effects of medical cannabis because, like with traditional medications, each qualifying patient reacts differently. While cannabis can help with glaucoma, eating disorders, and cancer, some risks are associated with this alternative treatment.
Leaf Science, “a media brand dedicated to (sharing) accurate information on cannabis”concluded the following side effects:
Decreased reaction time
Dry mouth and thirst
Heightened sensory perception
Increased heart rate
What is your suggested method of administration?
In the United States, (oils, lotions, transdermal patches), pills, sublingual sprays, inhalation (vaporization and smoking), and ingestion. Other methods include tinctures and suppositories, according to United Patients Group.
Does health insurance cover medical cannabis?
Even though medical marijuana is legal in multiple states and Washington, D.C., patients have to pay for it out of pocket. According to a 2012 NPR report,paying for marijuana prescriptions out of pocket is expensive, between $20 and $60 for an eighth of an ounce.
This is because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Until the FDA approves the drug, federal health insurance won’t cover it in its plan.
However, the FDA could declassify the alternative treatment (and subsequently include it in federal health insurance) if unbiased, clinical studies are performed to prove medical benefits. For this to occur, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must issue a permit to researchers to purchase and experiment with cannabis, but the federal government is largely reluctant.
Insurance Quotes predicts that the first companies to cover this alternative treatment will be employer-funded and state-regulated insurance programs, which are typically more flexible than federal plans. Some states like Massachusetts offer discounts to low-income patients, while other states reduce the required registration fees. Some states allow patients to grow their own marijuana, further reducing the cost.
In 2013, Washington D.C. legislators proposed a regulation where D.C. medical cannabis dispensaries would be required to put aside 2 percent of profits to subsidize medical marijuana for low-income patients.