How to Speak to your Loved One about Medical Cannabis

Cannabis has definitely suffered stigmatization for a long time, largely due to it being illegal; medical cannabis was legalized in Canada in 2001. Canadianswho may not have considered medical cannabis, are now hearing from patients, doctors, health groups, peers, and family about its potential benefits like using cannabis as effective treatment for sleep disorders, chronic pain, arthritis and inflammation, nausea and appetite issues, anxiety, depression, among other mental and physical symptoms.

Patient Choice warmly welcomes new patients. Patients can register with us right now; whether they have been referred to Patient Choice by a clinic, will still need to schedule an appointment for a medical referral, or are moving an existing registration from a licensed producer.

So, how do you have a discussion with your loved one about medical cannabis?

First, it is helpful to ask them what they might know about it. There is much misinformation surrounding medical cannabis use, so it is important to dispel any myths they might have heard before exploring further. 

Second, it is helpful (and if you wish to combat misinformation--you can point to research) to show potential patients reliable, trustworthy data. Health Canada is continuing to expand research and data collection on medical cannabis. There are also numerous reliable Canadian health organizations publishing ever-expanding information for new patients. Showing your loved one published information from reliable networks could help to normalize the medical cannabis ecosystem in their eyes.

Click here to view Health Canada’s “first step” page for medical cannabis information.

You can also check here for reliable published academic research articles on medical cannabis.

Anecdotal evidence is always compelling; does your loved one know anyone who they trust (perhaps you?) who has found effective treatment in medical cannabis? It would be helpful to share this with them to build trust. 

Third, ensure to explain that there are many methods of consumption for medical cannabis. A lot of older Canadians associate smoking as the only consumption method. Explain that in addition to smoking ‘flower’--there are other popular and effective ways to ingest medical cannabis-- like edibles (in the form of gummies or baked goods for example), oils & tinctures, vaporizing products, and topical products like skin lotions etc.

It would be further helpful to explain to them the two most prominent compounds in cannabis: CBD and THC, and the differences between them. CBD is not psychoactive while THC is. According to “An easy way to think about it is that THC is defined by what cannabis makes you feel, while the effects of CBD can’t be felt. The important distinction is that, unlike THC, CBD will not intoxicate you. It also addresses one of the most common reasons people choose to use CBD—pain management”. High doses of CBD can, however, provide a very relaxing experience on the body, without a psychoactive effect. 

You could also explain  the general differences between sativa cannabis flower strains and indica cannabis flower strains; essentially, sativa strains are associated with being more stimulating i.e boosts energy, while indica strains are associated with being more relaxing i.e. acts as a sedative.

Explore some of Patient Choice’s medical cannabis product types available to patients; which can be filtered by 'High THC' or 'Sativa Dominant' for example.

Finally, tell your loved one that the process of finding the right medical cannabis regimen is like exploring normal medication in that we must try out what works best for us in terms of choosing the right types of medical cannabis products, determining our best consumption methods, and figuring out what dosing is best for us.

Click here to get in touch with Patient Choice. We are always here for our patients, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have in starting (and maintaining) your medical cannabis journey.