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As more research is conducted, more information emerges about medical cannabis and its potential uses in the medical field. Almost every day, new studies shed more light on what cannabis can and can’t do for patients.

Download "How Medical Cannabis Can Counter the Opioid Crisis in Canada" e-book

The steady expansion of the body of knowledge has meant more people stand to benefit from medical marijuana. In turn, more people have become interested in what cannabis could potentially do for them. The number of medical marijuana patients in Canada has been increasing over the last few years.

This has left many people with the same question: is this the right treatment?


Medical Cannabis Has Many Uses

The first thing to do is to determine whether you have a condition that may benefit from medical marijuana treatment. Although there are many potential uses for cannabis, more research is needed to determine if cannabis is truly effective in treating many conditions.

If you have chronic pain or suffer from insomnia, then medical marijuana could be an option for you. Cancer patients also find some relief of symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, as well as pain. Other conditions, such as MS, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome could benefit from the use of medical marijuana, but more evidence is needed.

Some mental health conditions, including anxiety, PTSD, and depression, may also be indicated for treatment with medical marijuana.


Do You Have Any Contraindications?

Contraindications are factors that mean a treatment would be unsuitable for you, even though it may help others with your condition. For example, people with a history of mental health issues may have a contraindication to use a particular medication.

There are several things that may contraindicate the use of medical marijuana for a particular patient. You may have another health condition or be taking a medication known to interact with cannabis. You may have a history of addiction or a mental health issue that means cannabis may not be the right choice for you.

Talk to your doctor or the medical staff at a cannabis clinic. They can help you determine if medical cannabis is the right choice for you.


You Are Eligible

Another factor you’ll need to consider is whether or not you qualify for medical marijuana under The Cannabis Act. This piece of legislation governs the use of medical marijuana in Canada, and to be authorized, you have to qualify under it.

The rules and restrictions exist for a reason, and they are designed to keep patients safe.


Your Doctor Thinks You Could Benefit

Another good indication medical marijuana is right for you is if your doctor believes you might benefit from this treatment.

At the very least, you should have a supportive medical team behind you when you pursue this treatment option.


You Have Access to Resources to Make It Affordable

No provincial health care program covers the costs of this treatment, and only a few private insurers offer any kind of coverage. Some licensed producers offer compassion pricing.

You should check with your insurance provider to see if you have coverage. If not, you’ll want to talk to the medical cannabis clinic team to ensure you have access to the resources you need.


Is It the Right Choice?

If you meet the criteria here, medical cannabis might be the right choice for you. It’s a highly customizable treatment, and you might benefit immensely from it.


why-more-patients-are-turning-to-cannabis-for-pain-relief

Dr. Michael Verbora

Michael earned an MBA from the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business in 2009 and an M.D. from Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in 2013, before entering a Family Practice residency at the University of Toronto. A member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, Doctors for Responsible Access and the Canadian Pain Society, he has completed over 2,000 cannabinoid therapy consultations and has presented many talks in community and hospital settings while serving as student health physician at Seneca College and Medical Director, Canabo Medical Clinic.

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