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Starting Your Journey with Medical Cannabis Treatment: What You Should Know

As medical cannabis gains traction in the health industry, many individuals are considering it as a treatment option for various health conditions. However, starting medical cannabis treatment involves understanding its potential effects, exploring different variants, recognising legal implications, and more. Let's unpack these considerations to equip you with comprehensive knowledge before you embark on your medical cannabis journey.

Understanding Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, refers to the use of the cannabis plant and its essential extracts to alleviate symptoms associated with a variety of health conditions. This treatment option utilises the plant's chemicals, more specifically cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

It's important to note that while you can buy certain cannabis-based products legally as food supplements, their effectiveness and quality may not be guaranteed. On the other hand, certain cannabis-based products prescribed as medicinal cannabis can bring several health benefits but are likely to be useful to only a select number of patients.

The Effectiveness and Side Effects of Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis treatment has shown its power in treating conditions such as epileptic seizures, chronic pain, and the side effects of chemotherapy. It has also been effective in managing conditions like multiple sclerosis and reducing nausea, among other ailments.

However, like any medication, medical cannabis can present side effects. The type of cannabis used may bring about side effects like decreased appetite, dizziness, weakness, behavioural changes, and more. Hence, it is important to report any adverse effects to your medical team.

The Legal Implications

Legal restrictions vary across countries and states, so it's essential to understand the legal limits and ramifications surrounding the use of medical cannabis in your location. Considering that some products containing less than 0.2% THC are legal in certain regions, knowing the local laws and restrictions is crucial before embarking on any treatment programme.

The Road to Prescription

The first step in getting prescribed medical cannabis is discussing it with your doctor. Should your doctor agree that medicinal cannabis is an appropriate course, they will need to decide which medical cannabis product to prescribe, aligning it with your health needs.

Legally, a health concern is allowed to be prescribed medical cannabis as long as the doctor believes it is necessary and appropriate. This discretion ultimately lies with the doctor, who must consider the unique circumstances of the patient.

The prescription process is initiated by a specialist consultant - typically a hospital doctor or a specialist under supervision. This prescription will be based on whether they consider medical cannabis beneficial for your condition and if other treatment options have not worked or are not suitable.

Additionally, private clinics have emerged, offering a more accessible route to treatment. These clinics can prescribe medical cannabis to patients with a broader range of conditions, often at an additional cost.

As a final note, generally, medical cannabis can be an effective form of treatment for various conditions. However, as with all medications, it's essential to do your due diligence and consult your doctor before starting any treatment.

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