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The 3 Things You Should Know Before Seeing A Cannabis Doctor

The 3 Things You Should Know Before Seeing A Cannabis Doctor
March 27, 2023
2 min read

Medical Cannabis can revolutionise life for somebody suffering from a chronic condition. However, there are some very real factors to be aware of when considering Medical Cannabis treatment. This blog will answer the 3 things any patient should know before seeing a doctor about Medical Cannabis.

The 3 Things You Should Know Before Seeing A Cannabis Doctor

1. Driving

The first consideration for any Medical Cannabis patient is about driving.

For state and territory in Australia (other than Tasmania) it is currently illegal to drive with any amount of THC in your system.

If you are prescribed a Medical Cannabis product which does include THC, there’s no medical defense for using prescribed medicinal cannabis products that contain THC while driving, even if you’re not impaired.

Not all Medical Cannabis products include THC. Most doctors will start patients on a CBD only oil, which means they are allowed to drive on their non-THC medication.

This can put patients in a difficult position. If a medicine omitting THC is insufficient in treating their condition, they might have to choose between driving and treatment of their symptoms.

However for many patients – particularly those with mental conditions like anxiety, insomnia or depression – a CBD only formulation is satisfactory, so they don’t need to worry.

The exciting news is that the Victorian Government recently debated a change to driving laws for Medical Cannabis, which was supported by the major parties. When Victoria was the first state to legalise Medical Cannabis in 2016, the rest of the nation shortly followed suit, so it might not be long before patients can drive whilst taking their medication.

But for the time being, the absence of a medical defence for driving with THC in your system is something that all patients should be aware of before seeing a Medical Cannabis doctor.

2. Predisposition to Schizophrenia or Psychosis

The second consideration before discussing Medical Cannabis with a doctor is schizophrenia and psychosis.

There is evidence suggesting that cannabis use, primarily the THC in cannabis, in genetically predisposed or at-risk populations, leads to earlier diagnosis of psychosis/schizophrenia. This means that if you have a predisposition to psychosis or schizophrenia, you should not consider Medical Cannabis treatment.

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3. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The next consideration for a patient considering Medical Cannabis is pregnancy.

Cannabis use during pregnancy is potentially harmful. The THC in some Medical Cannabis products can cross the placenta easily, which may result in shortened gestation, decreased fetal growth, decreased infant birth weight and length, and meconium staining.

With regard to breastfeeding, THC is fat soluble and is rapidly distributed into brain and adipose (fatty) tissue. This means that it is likely to exist in breastmilk if the mother has consumed Medical Cannabis which includes THC.

Like most things for medical cannabis, more research needs to be done about the impact of cannabis use when pregnant or breastfeeding. However, the advice is that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not take any form of Medical Cannabis, including CBD only formulations.

Want to learn more?

Medical Cannabis can only be legally acquired through a medical professional. The best place to go is those with experience prescribing medical cannabis. They’ll hold your hand through the journey, and assist you in finding out what works best for you.

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Gabriel Younes
Author
Gabriel Younes

Gabriel is a medical cannabis patient previously known as CitrusQuest on Reddit. Trained in wine tasting, he approaches medical cannabis from the same perspective. He is deeply passionate about cannabis quality, terpenes, and the relation between aroma and effect. He loves to share his cannabis knowledge with others and promote a greater understanding of the plant.

Disclaimer

Please note that Gabriel at Easykind is not a licensed medical practitioner and therefore is not providing medical advice. We do not endorse the use of cannabis or any other illicit drugs. Like any medication, cannabis has potential negative side effects and should only be used under the guidance of a qualified medical professional. For the latest information on cannabis prescription and use, please visit the TGA website. If you are considering cannabis as a treatment option, we encourage you to consult with a licensed healthcare professional.

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