4 questions to ask your doctor if you're thinking about using medical cannabis for arthritis

You may have heard about using medical marijuana to relieve pain or manage the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.  When considering medical cannabis, the most important first step is to consult with your doctor.

Here are four questions to ask to help you have a meaningful conversation about whether it's right for you:

1. Could medical marijuana actually help me?

According to Dr. Sian Bevan, chief science officer at the Arthritis Society, medical cannabis can be a safe option for pain, but it is not a cure-all, nor is it effective or advisable for everyone.  So, consult with your doctor to see if it's appropriate for your specific situation and condition.

2. Are there any risks to using medical cannabis for arthritis that are unique to me?

The risks of using medical cannabis, like the potential benefits, are specific to your condition.  Based on your medical history, your doctor can address specific concerns.

3. Are there any known interactions between medical marijuana and the other medications I'm taking?

Because your doctor and pharmacist are aware of all the medications you're taking, they can best advise you if there are any potential interactions.  Tell them about any over-the-counter medications or vitamins you take.

4. What delivery methods, such as creams, oils, or edibles, might be worth experimenting with?

The various methods of consuming medical cannabis work differently, so it's best to discuss them with your health care provider.  Buying cannabis from a non-medical provider may also not a good idea.

Finally, remember that if you begin using medical cannabis, you should be monitored by a health care professional who is familiar with prescribing and monitoring patients who are taking the medicine.

More information about arthritis and medical cannabis can be found at arthritis.ca.


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