Rob and Morrigan visit a local cannabis dispensary: what did they learn?
So what did we learn from our visit? The most important thing is to first check with your doctor before starting on any new medication, whether it is medical cannabis or not. If you do decide to visit a medical cannabis dispensary, here are some of the questions we learned to ask from our visit:
- Has the cannabis been lab tested and certified? Does the dispensary perform their own testing on-site? Can they show you the report?
- Are pesticides used on the medical cannabis?
- Do they grow their own cannabis on-site? Does this make a difference in terms of quality?
- How fresh is the medical cannabis? Is there an expiration date?
- What are the different ways to take medical cannabis and what are the pros and cons of each? (how quickly it will take effect, strength, etc…)
- What is the right dosage to take? How do they know?
- What is the CBD:THC ratio? What does that mean and why is it important?
- What are side effects?
- Are there any interactions with other medications? (both cancer treatment and non-cancer medications).
- Where do they get their information from about medical cannabis and cancer? Is there a good website or journal they can recommend? Is there a doctor/nurse or other licensed health professional on-site to talk with?
- Is there a discount for low-income patients?
If this is your first time using cannabis or medical cannabis the attendant will want to know; both people we spoke to said that the information would help them understand how to help you find the right products. This will also help them understand what your tolerance might be. While these questions can give you more information about medicinal cannabis, it is not always clear the answers will help you make a decision or even what the right answers are. That is because our takeaway from visiting these marijuana dispensaries is that while some people may experience positive effects in managing symptoms by using medical cannabis, this is still a very new field and much of the information is anecdotal. There is also a lot of inaccurate information on the internet as well as false claims so it is important to be careful about what you read. Like any medication, tell your doctor if you are interested in trying medicinal cannabis, ask questions, and gather information so you can make an informed decision. If you want to better understand what questions to ask and what the answers mean then come to our workshop on Medical Cannabis on November 15th at 6:30pm presented by oncology nurse Eloise Theisen, AGPCNP-BC. Register today! Let us know about your experience, questions you ask and where you get your information by emailing Morrigan at [email protected].