Updated on January 7, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
If you’re wondering how to get a cannabis prescription, it’s important to first know that, depending on the state you live in, your ability to obtain medical marijuana will depend on what type of condition you’re suffering from. Certain states do not allow people with, for instance, post-traumatic stress disorder, to obtain medical weed legally. You need to check to see what conditions qualify for medical marijuana in your state.
Since marijuana remains illegal under federal law, doctors do not write prescriptions for pot as they would for other types of medicine. Rather, they write recommendations stating that a patient will benefit from medical marijuana as a part of their overall plan of treatment.
There are several states that allow medical marijuana to treat a wide range of conditions, but many others only allow it for a certain condition, such as epilepsy or cancer.
As long as medical cannabis is legal in your state, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a doctor who can provide you with a recommendation for medical cannabis. The difficulty of the process depends on the state in which you live. You might need to visit the doctor’s office in some states, while in others you can schedule a video consultation online with a doctor who can give you a certificate of recommendation.
Any licensed doctor in a state where medical marijuana is legal can write a recommendation for a patient — provided the patient’s condition is on the list of illnesses that can be legally treated with cannabis. Once the patient receives a recommendation, he or she can purchase weed, possess it, consume it and, in some states, even grow it themselves.
Once you receive your recommendation, you will need to find a dispensary that can provide you with the marijuana you need. You’ll need to bring the certification, as well as your medical marijuana card, in states that require it. You will also need to have your driver’s license or other form of picture ID ready to prove that you’re a resident of the state where you’re obtaining legal medical marijuana.
It’s very important that you do some research into exactly what type of medical cannabis will be right for treating your particular condition. There are hundreds of different types of strains, as well as a variety of products that will help you consume the cannabis. Methods of treatment include edibles, tinctures, tonics and many others.
Staff members at your dispensary can help you determine what type of weed is best for your problem, as well as help you decide what method of consumption will best address your condition.
If you use marijuana recreationally — whether you’re doing so legally or illegally — you need to know about “self-medication.” This is the practice of using a drug for therapeutic reasons without the supervision of a doctor. Your use of the substance could be due to some underlying medical problem that hasn’t been diagnosed.
If you smoke weed because you’re depressed, have trouble sleeping or are suffering from pain, please talk to a doctor to make sure your issue is properly treated. Find a doctor near you today!