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You might find that you want to approach your doctor about medical marijuana, but you don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming (not to mention slightly taboo depending on where you live), and you want to have a good foundation before going into your appointment. So, read on to learn how to take on this seemingly daunting, yet surprisingly simple, task of talking to your doctor.

First, let’s start with the basics: what is medical marijuana?

The term medical marijuana refers to treating a disease or its symptoms with the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts. There are more than 545 chemical compounds in marijuana; 104 of them are the cannabinoids, which are the active ingredients in cannabis (cannabis is how marijuana is referred to when it is in plant form). The ingredients between different plants and species vary—the two cannabinoids that have been studied are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, and cannabindiol, or CBD. THC is probably best known for being the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, while CBD is non-psychoactive. In other words, CBD can’t get you high. While disappointing to recreational users, this unique feature of CBD is what makes it so appealing as a medicine.

Questions you should be asking your doctor:

  1. Are you able to certify my use of medical marijuana, and if not, can you recommend someone who would be able to?

  2. Is medical marijuana right for me in particular?  I heard that it could help with side effects of conventional treatment such as nausea, vomiting, and pain.

  3. How will medical marijuana affect me?  What adverse side effects do I need to be aware of? (A good rule of thumb is to treat medical marijuana as you would a potent prescription drug.)

More resources

If you or someone you love is considering medical marijuana, do your research, look at the references we provide, talk with others at (877) 422-2030, and speak with your doctor. To get an in-depth understanding or answers to other questions about medical marijuana, watch the What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana & CRC webinar.

The Colon Cancer Alliance does not endorse or recommend any specific treatment or screening method for colorectal cancer; rather we serve as a source of scientifically accurate medical information to help empower patients and their caregivers to make informed decisions in consultation with their health professionals.

Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have additional questions about colon cancer screening or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help.


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