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20855842 tn?1541270286

Should I tell my care team about getting my medical marijuana card?

I am a woman in her early 30s who has a rare genetic disorder with multiple comorbidities. My connective tissues are falling apart, my hips and shoulders dislocate, I vomit a lot due to gut issues, and I'm a terrible insomniac with severe anxiety on top of it. Medical marijuana became legal in my state in 2016, and I just got my card a couple weeks ago. However,  I am hesitant to tell my huge swath of doctors about this. I know it's unwise to keep medical info from your care team, but there's still such a stigma against marijuana, with people denying its medical value and thinking people just want to get stoned. Since starting, I was able to get off of both the benzo I took for anxiety and panic attacks and the prescription sleeping pill; I've cut down drastically on the amount of muscle relaxers I'm taking, and I finally have an antiemetic that I don't have to swallow while I'm nauseous or projectile vomiting. All of these have been positives and what I wanted, and unless it's something for sleep, the strains I'm using are keeping me able to function on a normal level.

I fear that if I tell my doctors about this, they won't look at me the same way as a patient and think I'm just some stoner loser. So is this something I should keep secret for now, or are doctors more enlightened on this subject than I have been lead to believe? Really, I just wanted to get off of so many pills. I have 12 different prescriptions right now, not counting the marijuana, and the side effects are often worse than what they're trying to treat. Will my doctors understand this?
1 Responses
Avatar universal
I think it depends on the doctor and whether his is legal in your state or not.  Keeping in mind it's still illegal federally, doctors are caught in a bit of a trap, but docs differ a lot in how much they care about their patients vs. how much they care about how much money they're making, how much they buy in to mainstream medical school teaching dominated by pharmaceutical companies and professors paid by them, and how open minded they are.  I started TM many years ago because my PCP at the time recommended it to me because at a young age I was suffering migraines and had already suffered a bleeding ulcer (back then nobody knew about hpylori).  But he worked in Oakland CA.  I now live in VA, and would not get that kind of help unless I chose to see an alternative medicine provider.  But again, if medical pot is legal in your state, and I assume it is as you have a card for it, I would probably tell them because it might have some contraindications with other meds you're taking or we might learn, as it becomes more and more accepted now that Canada has legalized it, more about it and how it works along with other meds.  I'm guessing most docs would be pleased that you're feeling better and are able to take fewer meds -- docs don't much like benzos these days, either, and probably prefer marijuana to it because it's not an addictive drug (assuming your doc isn't stupid enough to believe it is).  They can't help you with it if you don't mention it.  If they are hostile, I'd just either stop talking about it (they'll forget, probably -- docs are too busy to really remember who you are from visit to visit) or find a different doc.  Now, I have no idea what your underlying disease is and probably wouldn't know anything about it if you mentioned it, but I'm guessing some of your problems can be mitigated with natural techniques and substances rather than meds, which might allow you to get better results and further cut down on your meds.  I'm particularly thinking about the digestive problems, which I've found are much better handled with natural medicine than allopathic medicine.  Possibly the same is true with your sleep problems, and since one of the largest causes of sleep disorders, and I'm in that category, is medication induced insomnia, if you can reduce your meds you might find you sleep better as long as you stop taking them in a proper fashion.  Know that current research shows that marijuana in the active THC form does affect serotonin -- CBD in one way, THC in another.  If you're taking other meds that affect this neurotransmitter, and this is why I think you ought to talk about it, you probably want your docs to know.  This is just one factor I know of and I know little.
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