Are you interested in medical marijuana but don’t know where to get reliable, honest answers to your questions? Dr Jassey is the Medical Director for Pediatric Medicine at Leafwell, a telemedicine platform which helps patients get certified for medical marijuana online in New York and across the US. With 26 years medical experience, Dr Jassey has served on staff at 5 major hospitals and lectures nationally. We asked him about the medical marijuana program in New York and asked some common questions you may have about medical marijuana.
I’m interested in cannabis but I’m afraid of the stigma.
Dr Jassey: I understand why people worry. There is a stigma when it comes to cannabis but attitudes are changing. 43 states have some form of medical marijuana program and 15 states have legalized recreational marijuana, as of the November election 2020. Cannabis is not the demonized drug it once was. Why? Because evidence shows that it really does have some remarkable medical qualities. It’s not only “pot-heads” who use cannabis now.
Why is cannabis considered medicine?
Dr Jassey: The idea of cannabis as medicine is not new. It dates back thousands of years. Modern medical marijuana programs began with California in 1996 and since then, 33 other states, plus DC, have passed medical marijuana legislation. The expansion of medical marijuana programs has led to more research. New evidence shows that medical marijuana works with our bodies’ natural systems to reduce side effects of medical conditions. For example, medical marijuana is anti-inflammatory, so it is very effective in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammatory bowel diseases. It can also treat side effects from cancer treatment, MS, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases, and PTSD.
I want to use cannabis but I don’t want to get high.
Dr Jassey: This is a common fear of patients new to medical marijuana. It can feel scary taking cannabis for the first time, but if you choose the right products, you’ll be fine.There are two main compounds in cannabis: CBD and THC. The sensation of getting ‘high’ usually comes from products which contain higher levels of THC. You can speak with the staff at the dispensary to find products with higher levels of CBD. However, some medical conditions benefit from THC. If your physician recommends you try THC, start with a low THC to high CBD ratio, and then you can titrate up from there to find the right ratio for you.
What do I need to show my doctor at my online appointment?
Dr Jassey: Medical marijuana is medicine, so physicians will need to see your medical records. This is a state requirement because we need to see whether you have a medical condition which can benefit from medical marijuana. If you’re on any medication, we’ll need a list of these, or a photograph of the packaging. We ask you to provide as much information as possible to allow us to help you best, so if possible contact your primary care physician and request your medical history. You can then upload these all to our HIPAA-compliant platform for review by either myself or one of my colleagues. To get started, visit https://getcarded.leafwell.co/.