When you are exploring marijuana for medicinal reasons, you’ll want to work with an expert. Not only can a licensed physician provide you with the necessary prescription for medical cannabis, but they can also review your medical history, monitor your treatment, and advise you on adjustments to your dosage so you can obtain the greatest health benefit. But how do you find a medical marijuana doctor?
Unfortunately, some legal hurdles and gaps in traditional medical training have made it difficult for many doctors to feel informed when speaking to their patients about medical marijuana. Although many patients talk to their doctors about receiving a medical marijuana card, nearly two-thirds of physicians treating chronic pain admit that they have been unable to answer their patients’ questions. Additionally, state regulatory restrictions often prevent doctors from prescribing cannabis. In Texas, for example, doctors must be registered with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) in order to write a marijuana prescription, and not every doctor is a member of that registry. All of these obstacles leave many patients wondering how to find a medical marijuana doctor.
Here are three easy steps to find a qualified doctor who can help you.
1. Do Your Research
First of all, it is important to remember that doctors can only write a prescription to eligible patients. Not every condition qualifies. It’s best to seek a medical marijuana card after you talk to your primary doctor and receive an official diagnosis.
Keep in mind - speaking to your primary care physician (PCP) about this topic can sometimes be challenging. Some physicians are less supportive of medical marijuana than the general public, but remember that you do have the right to seek holistic, therapeutic treatments for your condition. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, you do have a right to find a doctor who can prescribe it. If you do sense some pushback from your PCP, keep the conversation neutral and professional. You will eventually speak to a specialist, but having your medical records updated will make it easier for a medical marijuana doctor to verify your qualifying condition.
Each state has its own list of qualifying medical conditions. For instance, many states list HIV/AIDS as a qualifying condition—but not all states do. Some list sickle cell anemia while others do not. Check online for your state of residence. Conditions allowed under Texas law, for example, are listed here.
Keep in mind that just because you don’t see your condition, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot speak to a doctor about an MMJ card. Medical marijuana is a relatively new topic in America, and the qualifying conditions are often changing from year to year. If you think you may qualify, the next step is to find a doctor who can discuss your treatment.
2. Find a Medical Marijuana Doctor
Easier said than done! As mentioned, many primary care physicians or specialists are simply unable to prescribe cannabis. The best way to find a medical marijuana doctor is to look for a practice that specifically advertises its doctors are certified to prescribe marijuana.
There are many websites that can help you locate a medical marijuana doctor near you in your state. Before you schedule your first appointment, ask some questions.
- Is this doctor registered and able to prescribe marijuana to eligible patients? This should be clearly stated. Also, make sure that the doctor will help you complete any necessary requirements to legally carry an MMJ card.
- Does the doctor have a background in pain management or holistic medicine? Medical cannabis affects every patient differently. You need to be able to speak to your doctor about your symptoms and experiences with medical marijuana, and you will want to trust that they have the expertise to give the proper dosing and regimen recommendations. Medical cannabis is not “one size fits all.” Your doctor should approach your treatment with a personalized action plan that takes into account your medical history, current medications, lifestyle, and presentation of symptoms.
- Will you receive ongoing support? You’ll want to talk to your doctor after receiving your medical card, so it’s important that your doctor is available for follow-up consultations and ongoing monitoring of your treatment. Remember, the fee you pay is not for the prescription—it’s for the doctor’s time in consultation with you. Make sure your doctor is willing and available to give you the support you deserve.
3. Stay in Touch with Your Doctor
As mentioned above, you’ll want to find a medical marijuana doctor who not only knows how the legal process works but also is available to meet with you and make adjustments to your treatment. Here are some common reasons to revisit your medical marijuana dosage.
- The symptoms of your qualifying condition change. This could be for better or for worse. For example, if your cancer goes into remission or you find that you’re experiencing more pain than you used to, it is a good idea to discuss these changes with your doctor.
- You begin taking a new prescription medication outside of your cannabis regimen.
- You feel unusually tired or you have trouble concentrating.
- You have questions about a different cannabis strain or method of consumption.
- You feel progress in your symptom management and you want to increase your dosage.
Talking to your doctor after you receive your medical marijuana card promotes open dialogue and helps you make informed decisions to best treat your underlying condition.
Time to Switch Doctors? Here’s How to Know
Looking for a doctor for an MMJ card is more than figuring out where one is located in your city. You want to approach your search carefully. You’re looking for a doctor who has your best interest at heart; one who knows not only the legal process but also knows how marijuana works with your body, your conditions, and with your medications.
Your process to find a medical marijuana doctor should never include sacrificing your personal preferences, comfort level, or the quality of your treatment. Just as you may decide to switch your primary care physician for one reason or another, you may realize that the first medical marijuana doctor you speak to is not the one whom you ultimately want overseeing your treatment. Here are five common reasons patients decide to find a new doctor.
- You are moving to a new state. Medical cannabis regulations differ from state to state. While in this digital age it’s common to primarily interact with your medical marijuana doctor online, you must remember that you will need to find a new provider if you change your state of residency. If you’ve just moved to Texas, you can get in touch with one of our doctors, but if you live in another state, you will need to find a registered marijuana doctor there.
- The doctor charges hidden fees or bills you monthly. Pricing should be transparent. Most medical marijuana consultation services charge a flat fee to cover initial costs and onboard a new patient, but if your doctor wants to bill you monthly, it may be time to shop around.
- The doctor does not check on your progress. You aren’t just signing up for an online service to get a medical card; you should be able to talk to your doctor after the first appointment. If your doctor does not provide you with a personalized treatment plan, or they do not contact you to check in and monitor your progress, your experience with medical cannabis may not be as effective as it could be. Enroll with a doctor who will be involved in your treatment, not just write you a prescription.
- You aren’t seeing the results you hoped for. Medical marijuana is still an evolving area of medical science, and you may find a doctor who is still gaining experience in how to oversee this treatment. If your doctor has only recommended a certain form of cannabis, such as vaping, but you feel inclined to try other forms of consumption or you would like to consider changing your dosage, your doctor should be open to discussing these possibilities with you and knowledgeable about the options available. If it seems that your doctor takes a “one size fits all” approach to medical marijuana, it may be time to look for a more personalized treatment plan elsewhere.
Enroll with Texas 420 Doctors
With Texas 420 Doctors, you will never just be a number. Our experienced registered medical marijuana doctors approach each patient’s case uniquely. When you enroll in our services, we provide ongoing follow-up consultations to make sure your treatment is working for you. Other benefits of Texas 420 Doctors include:
- Fast approval and instant delivery of your approval letter to buy medical cannabis
- 12 months of ongoing care from board-certified, CURT-registered physicians
- HIPAA-compliant software for your privacy
- Discounts on supplementary cannabis products
- Lower rates for seniors and service members
- Knowledge and professionalism about the medical benefits of cannabis
If you’re wondering how to find a medical marijuana doctor in Texas, you can see if you qualify in less than a minute. Our physicians will review your health history and symptoms before recommending a cannabis regimen. Not only will our team handle the legalities of registering you with CURT, you will also have access to your physician throughout the year. When 12 months are up, renewals are easy.