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Medical Cannabis 101

What’s the Difference Between Self-Medicating and Getting Cannabis from a Doctor?

By June 13, 2018August 15th, 2022No Comments
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Even when marijuana is legalized, it still may be beneficial for you to seek treatment from a medical marijuana doctor.

This post outlines three major reasons why getting a medical marijuana doctor could be in your best interest.

What Is Self-Medicating?

The term “self-medicating” is used to describe someone who takes a medication—without a prescription or medical advice—to relieve symptoms of a physical or psychological condition.

People don’t always know that they are self-medicating. For example, using cannabis after work to help with stress may actually be a way to self-medicate for anxiety.

If you’re already using marijuana to self-medicate, you may wonder if there’s a point in seeing a medical marijuana doctor. However, treating your condition with the help of a doctor can be much more effective.

3 Reasons Why Medical Marijuana Doctors Are More Effective

#1 Most Effective Medicine

Although you may suspect that marijuana can or is helping with your condition, it’s important to realize that not all cannabis is the same.

There are at least hundreds of different types of marijuana, called strains. These strains have a different ratio of Tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Another difference between strains are the terpenes present, which are responsible for the smell and some therapeutic effects. The way you take the medication can also make a difference in your treatment. For example, cannabis can be smoked or vaporized or made into an edible or tincture.

As you can probably tell, there are a lot of factors that make each marijuana strain unique. Getting the right medicine for your condition is more complicated than just walking into a dispensary and asking for something random. While one strain may work wonders for your condition, another strain could make it worse.

Doctors who will prescribe medical marijuana in Ontario and Canada work with you to find the best strain and administration method.

#2 Right Dosage

When you are self-medicating, you probably aren’t mindful of how much cannabis you’re consuming; you’re just making things up as you go.

In some cases, you may be taking too little and may not be getting the full benefits. In other cases, you may take too much and experience unwanted side effects or develop a tolerance quickly. Finding your optimal dose of cannabis is necessary for optimal relief. 

Since a medical marijuana doctor is an expert in your condition and in marijuana, he or she will be able to help you find the best dose for your specific circumstance. A physician will also tell you if your dose will need to change over time.

#3 Consistency

When you fill any prescription, the pharmacist must make sure you’re getting the correct drug and dosage. Similarly, when you fill a medical marijuana prescription with a Licensed Producer (LP), you can be sure that:

You get the correct strain of marijuana

The strain you purchase matches the level of THC recommended by your doctor

Your marijuana is safe and high-quality

Since LPs are regulated by the government, the products they sell need to be reliable and safe.

On the other hand, when you self-medicate, you are likely buying your product from an illegal dispensary or another individual. Since they are not regulated, their cannabis likely lacks consistency. This means your medicine may work one time but not the next. However, to successfully treat a condition, your medication should be reliable.

Bottom Line

Consulting a medical marijuana doctor is a more effective and quicker way to treat your condition.

Wondering what an expert would recommend for your condition? Book an appointment with one of our doctors today.

Apollo Cannabis

We are a research clinic and doctor's office that specializes in cannabinoid therapy (medical cannabis treatment). We have published our own peer reviewed clinical research study on the use of medical cannabis for pain management. Our team of doctors, nurse practitioners, and patient educators have helped over 100,000 Canadians. We are here to help educate, support, and provide relief.

Get medical marijuana legally to treat ADHD, Anxiety, Pain Management, and More

Bodystream has merged into Apollo as of May 1, 2023, and here at Apollo we are looking forward to welcoming all new and existing Bodystream patients for free appointments with a medical cannabis healthcare practitioner.

Bodystream has merged into Apollo as of May 1, 2023, and here at Apollo we are looking forward to welcoming all new and existing Bodystream patients for free appointments with a medical cannabis healthcare practitioner.